How to deal with toxic people…


We made it to present day here….well pretty much, and I am going to finish up the story and give you all the current bullshit that’s going on with my toxic family, but I wanted to take a break from all that and give you all some tips for dealing with Toxic people, whether they are psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or whatever. I should probably preface this with telling you guys that I am (very obviously) not a doctor or qualified mental health practitioner. I am just sharing with you guys what has and hasn’t worked for me, and how I respond to the negativity, the baiting, the antagonizing, the word twisting, the gaslighting, the projection and just straight up, bullshit lies and psychoticness. (That is so not a word, but you get it). So I am going to explain to you guys, how I’ve responded in the past and I’m going to give you all some tips that I have learned along the way. 

Tip #1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE



You guys may think I sound crazy here, and are saying to yourselves, “but it’s not me, it’s them”, and you’re right, most of the time it is them.  Bear with me for a moment. You need to step out of yourself, be honest and try to look how you contribute to the toxicity, because you do contribute to it.  I know this sounds crazy, but NONE of us are perfect. We all have one or two traits that when we read about Narcs, psycho’s and Socio’s we start bugging out, and for a split second we think, “shit, am I the narcissist, here?”. Most likely, the answer is NO. Reason being is that no narcissist, sociopath or psychopath is going to even be reading that kind of shit! They do not care enough about other human beings to truly understand them. I followed the Jodi Arias trial EXTENSIVELY and I remember watching a psychologist’s commentary on the Dr. Drew show on HLN, about the case. He basically said that there is no such thing as “all good” and “all bad”. (That is called “splitting” and that’s how narcs, socio’s and psychopath’s view things). As hard as it to believe even the most evil of beings have one or two good qualities…..even Jodi Arias….ok not her, she’s pure fucking evil. Anyway, I agree with him, and so while we, “the victims” are probably mostly all good, we do possess a few bad qualities ourselves. 
The other thing to keep in mind here is that we cannot change other people. We cannot simply tell a narcissist to stop being a narcissist. God, if only it were that easy! We are only responsible for our own actions, and so with that said, we need to realize how we add to the bullshit, and we need to adjust our behaviors accordingly. I consider myself someone who is exceptionally self aware, good and bad. I have an innate ability to push people’s buttons. I am sarcastic. I am impulsive. I don’t always think before I speak, and at times I don’t know when to stop or how to filter my language. While I always knew these things about myself, I was not able to see how those things contributed to my relationships with the toxic people in my life, and how I was making things even more toxic, until recently when I took a step back and analyzed my relationships with these people. Unfortunately when tragedy strikes, you see people’s true colors. 

A perfect example of how I contribute to the toxicity; I cannot take when people think they are getting one over on me. It fucking kills me. I don’t like when people think that I’m stupid and cannot read between the lines. I am a venter. I need to express my feelings. If something is wrong, I feel like it HAS to be known, I cannot hold back.  Back before my mom passed, I was taking my anger out in an unhealthy, passive aggressive way. I would see quotes and stuff on Facebook, and feel like I could relate them to what I was going through with my family, and so I’d post them. My aunts (and their guilty consciences) being the same way, they would see my posts and then they’d go seek out their own posts or make passive aggressive comments. It got to a point where I stopped, but they kept going. It’s very hard for me not to jump down their throats and call out their contradictions and/or hypocrisy. I didn’t need the added stress at that time of fighting with them, and so I made the decision to unfriend all of them on Facebook so their posts would no longer show up on my newsfeed. I know I have issues with impulse control (thanks ADHD) and so me not seeing them would help me control MY behavior. If I don’t have the temptation there then I can better control how I react to them. 
Tip #2: YOU AREN’T OBLIGATED TO RESPOND



This sounds so simple and if you’re anything like me, it’s not that easy to do. You have to remember that toxic people like to fight, argue, disrupt, inflame, incite riots, and cause chaos, that’s what makes them toxic. 9 out 10 times they are trying to draw you out of your fox hole so they can fulfill that need, or so they can further exploit you. If you don’t respond, you are not adding more gasoline to their fire….. you are putting out their flame. In the past four months I have held back and bit my tongue, and I have noticed that the more I ignore the toxic people in my life, the more angry and starved for attention they become, just like a flame needs oxygen to keep burning. 

If you want to piss them off, ignore them! The worst thing for a narcissist or psychopath is losing their “supply”. Don’t be their supply.

 I am normally very reactive, but I completely switched up my game. I was in a lose/lose situation with my family. I started to realize that it doesn’t really matter how gently  I approached them, I am always in the wrong. I am the family scapegoat. They’ve been antagonizing me because they want to prove to everyone that they are right, and I am the asshole. The more I ignore it and press on with what I have to do, the more angry and desperate they become, and now instead of exposing me, they are exposing themselves, and the people around them are starting to see the sickness without me saying or doing anything. 

Now, keep in mind, I am not saying that you should never respond, or stick up for yourself, or that you should walk on eggshells, and tip toe around them, not at all. I’m trying to tell you that you need to control if and how you’re going to respond to them because your responses are what’s going to dictate how the conversation goes and how much abuse you receive in return. When you are dealing with people who are just going to twist whatever you say around, it’s not worth your time to try to convince them of your side. I had to learn this the hard way. 

Deaf people do not listen! 
Tip #3: RESPOND, BUT DON’T RESPOND 
This blog is one big response to the toxic people in my life. Writing is what kept me sane during my horribly hormonal, high school years. I kept a journal and I wrote in it every night. I stopped writing somewhere around my last year of college and I realized recently that it was a great and safe way to for me to cope with what I am going through.

I have received a few letters from my brother and my aunts in the last few months and I now realize that responding to them and giving them a dose of reality does absolutely nothing, because all they will do is deflect, deny or disregard the truth.  They have no interest in the truth. I now realize that my best option is write them back, but never send it to them! It helps me get out the things I want to say, but I don’t have to deal with the backlash or bullshit that comes with it. I don’t have to deal with the frustration of their lack of acknowledgement or accountability. Trust me. I would love nothing more than tearing these toxic assholes to SHREDS, but I’ve realized now that it does me absolutely no good. I will never get back the honest reply that I am hoping for. I will never get validated by them, and so with that I take care of my urge to respond, but I don’t feed the beast. 

Tip #4:KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES EVEN CLOSER

Ok not really close. By close I mean, know who they are. Really take a look at the people you are dealing with and ask yourself, is it me or them? My aunt Debbie is a great example here. I was very close with my Aunt Debbie’s daughter Tina. I would spend hours on the phone with Tina as she complained about aunt Debbie and how Aunt Debbie treated her. I sat back one day and really analyzed Aunt Debbie  as aperson and I saw who she really was. Aunt Debbie has been married twice, and has had a long string of failed relationships in the last decade. She is 60 years old, lonely and bitter. She is constantly surrounded by conflict, because I think she actually enjoys the conflict. It gives her something to do and something to talk about since her life is so pathetic.  My mom and Aunt Debbie talked every day and my mom would always tell me how Aunt Debbie always seems to be fighting with someone. She has MANY friends with whom she has had fights with, and hasn’t spoken to in years. She stops talking to them for years at a time and some she cuts off completely, and it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known one another.  Usually it’s over something really stupid and trivial. Aunt Debbie is spiteful and vindictive, even with her own daughter.  Knowing this about her helps me know that it’s not me. She has a high conflict personality. She always needs to be right even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her own face.  I have never met someone who has fights with their friends the way she does. So you need to look at the toxic person and ask if they are surrounded by conflict. Once you determine that, you know that most likely this is a person who isn’t going to take anything that you have to say to heart. Even if you are right, they will never admit it because they are too stubborn. Trying to point out the truth or trying to resolve issues with a person like that is going to be very difficult unless you just completely give in, kiss their asses and grovel for forgiveness, even if all you did was defend yourself against one of their cruel and senseless attacks. 

Tip #5 DON’T RESPOND EVEN BY PROXY

 
Most people you’d deem toxic in your life are also highly manipulative. They also like to “triangulate” and/or recruit others into their battles and crusades. If you truly don’t want to deal with their drama, don’t talk about them with mutual friends or other family members.  If you do, don’t talk shit about them. Don’t give them anything to hold against you. A lot of people will pretend and play both sides of the fence because let’s face it, sometimes it’s straight up entertainment to hear other people’s drama and bullshit. Your words may get skewed and taken out of context like a big ol game of telephone. Just remember those who gossip with you, probably gossip about you. You never know if they will slip up and tell them something you said about the toxic person. 

My aunts and my brother have been trying to reach me but I haven’t responded because at this point in the game, my lawyer has told me not to respond and not to put anything in writing. First my brother wrote me and email and then Aunt Bea. When that didn’t work Aunt Debbie tried to speak through my Aunt Dana who is in no way involved in our conflict. Her attempt to contact me was meant to be manipulative to both me and Aunt Dana. She was trying to get Aunt Dana to “talk some sense into me” and so she asked her to deliver a message. My response to Aunt Dana was, my name and phone number and the name and phone number of my lawyer. I told aunt Dana that I will NOT be communicating through her. When aunt Dana gave Aunt Debbie my response,she said, “that’s all she had to say?”. That right there showed me that she was looking for more from me. She wanted me to respond to the drama but I refused. 

Tip #6 – KEEP RECORDS

 
This tip is probably the single, most important tip I can give you. Of course it’s just not possible to record every single conversation you have, but if you are involved in conflict with a toxic personality or you are sensing a conflict with them, you are going to want to start keeping record of conversations. This was probably the absolute smartest thing I could do when it came to my family. I tried to keep all of our conversations in texts. If I was speaking with my brother there were times he’d try to call and I’d make some excuse up and tell him I was unable to answer my phone. Sure my storage on my phone is full all of the time, but I have a record of every word that was said. If someone tries to twist and obscure my words or even their own words, I have solid proof. When my brother went and lied to a lawyer about my mom having no will, he had sent my husband a text telling him that I can either hand over the will that names my aunt’s as executors or he will be filing for letters of administration. When he filed for letters of administration, he signed a sworn affidavit that said he did a diligent search for the will and determined that no will had ever existed. Clearly he was lying since he had acknowledged it in his text. Keeping records will help keep your sanity! 
Tip #7 KEEP IT BUSINESS
I realize that most of these tips are basically saying not to respond and not to feed into it, but there are times and situations in life where you have no choice but to converse with them. If and when you must communicate with them, keep it short and sweet, and to the point. Do not give them any more than what you have to give them. This leaves them with very little room to distract, deflect or twist words. Do not write to them or speak to them with any emotion or feeling about whatever topic you are discussing. Remember that toxic people do not care about your feelings, they only care about their feelings.  You almost have to be robotic when dealing with them. Do not give them too much detail or make it too lengthy. I’ve noticed that NONE of the toxic people in my life seem to know how to read or listen. I can tell by their responses that they aren’t fully paying attention. If they try to change the subject, stay the course, but do so without emotions or criticizing them. It took me a VERY long time to learn this, but I promise you, it is worth while. If you don’t come out of your face with them, they don’t know how to respond. They get really tripped up when you are calm, cool and collected. There were a few times I felt I had to share information with my aunts, in the last few months, and so I just wrote very short emails to them, got to the point, stayed real cordial and didn’t take any of their bait to try to reel me into an argument.  For instance, one of my mom’s neighbors saw a red SUV parked in my mom’s driveway, one day. I know aunt Debbie is the ONLY person who would be in her driveway, who has a red SUV. I was at the house around that time and noticed that someone had taken some boxes of my brother’s stuff from the house, that he left behind the night I caught him and his wife removing items off the property. I assumed my aunt Debbie, thinking she was the named executor of my mom’s will, thought she could remove the items from the property, and I couldn’t say shit to her about it. The reality was though, while she was the named executor, she hadn’t been appointed by the courts yet, and so legally she had no authority to do so. I wrote her an email letting her know that she was seen at the house removing items, and I reminded her that she hadn’t been appointed yet and shouldn’t be removing items from the property. I had tried to peacefully and amicably reach out to her in the weeks following my mom’s death,  and she refused to respond to me. Of course once she was being accused of something, she answered right away. She denied being there, and so when I responded, I kept it very short. I told her that if it wasn’t her, I apologize, and that I should probably contact the police and have them look into it since, I don’t know anyone else with a red SUV who’d be at my mom’s home. She responded back, “Good idea.(that I call the police)”, and that was it…..or so I thought. A day or so later I got this lengthy, “how dare you”, ” I would never do that”, “I am insulted”, bullshit, argumentative email. She didn’t get the rise out of me that she was hoping for, the first time, and so she got angry and wrote me an inflammatory, email. I never responded to that last one. There was no need. It was just bait to try to suck me in so she could further antagonize me and argue with me. I refused to give her what she wanted. Don’t take the bait, my friends! 

 
  
Tip #8 STOP FEELING GUILTY! 

Ok so this one isn’t so much a tip for dealing with them, but it’s something to consider….I grew up in an Italian- American family that preached “family first”, “family always sticks together” and “unconditional love”, but I’ve realized in the past year that they don’t practice what they preach. I’ve also learned in the last few years that, that way of thinking is completely unhealthy. If someone is disrespecting you, crossing your boundaries and/or treating you badly, it doesn’t matter who they are, or how you know them, if they’re treating you like shit, they gotta go! You don’t have to take ANYONE’S abuse. You also don’t have to feel guilty for making decisions that are best for your life. 
Going no contact is not easy and especially so when you are doing it with your family. Trust me, I know this. I held onto my family for the past ten years. I felt resentful towards them. I couldn’t understand how they could stand behind someone who perpetrated a crime against another member of the family. I stuck it out and tried to forgive people because I wanted to respect my mother. My aunt Bea saved my mom’s life by donating her kidney to her, and so I felt obligated to be there for her when her son molested my younger cousin. I will always admire what she did for my mom, but I realize now that it didn’t give her a pass to treat me or my mom like shit. I didn’t ask her to do that for my mom. That was her choice in life, not mine. She did that for my mom, not for me. I don’t owe her anything. I am not obligated to do anything for her, and quite frankly, she has some nerve being angry with me about “outing” her son. I didn’t ask him to molest my cousin. She will deny, deny, deny, that she has any resentment towards me but her actions speak louder than her words.

As much as I know it would upset my mom, cutting half of my extend family and my brother, out of my life, I know my mom would want me to do what’s best for me. If she could see all that they’ve been doing for the past four months since she died, I think she’d understand. You cannot feel guilty for cutting toxic people from your life……Period. 
I hope this has helped 

Busted!! 

It had now been nearly month since my mom had passed away. For over a year now, my husband and I had been talking about leasing a new truck. My car payment was up in March 2017 and so my husband thought up this idea that he’d take my car and we’d lease a new truck for me to be used as a family car. He had scoped out the car, and so one night while I was out, I decided to go take it for a test drive. I had just left the dealership when I get a text from my mom’s neighbor telling me that Satan’s car was at my mom’s house and she was carrying out boxes and putting them in the back of her car. She told me she didn’t see my brother and so as soon as I got the text, I immediately started heading to the house. If it was justSatan  in the house when I got there, there was going to be a huge fucking problem. The last time I spoke to my brother, when I confronted him about the emails I saw on my mom’s phone, he flat out told me that I should NOT be taking anything from the house until the will was settled. Now here was his wife carrying boxes out of my mom’s house. That’s a little fucked up for them to say. 
I was just about on the expressway when I got the text, and so I gunned it past the next four exits, heading to my mom’s house. I had been trying to catch them there for months now, but I was always too late. I called my husband up and was on the phone with him until I pulled up to the house. Finally, I saw their truck in the driveway. My husband told me to pull behind Satan to block her in because if she was indeed alone there, she was trespassing and stealing. I parked my car parallel to the street, blocking the driveway. 
I sat there in my car for a few second and tried to scope out the situation, but I couldn’t really see much, so I got out of my car and slowly walked up to the house. As I got up to the house, I see my brother walking by the big picture window in the living room. I walked up to the front door and try to open it but the door was locked. I grabbed my keys and quietly unlocked the door. I walked in to see two rows of garbage bags, lined up, stretching across my mom’s living room. There had to be at least 16 bags in there, full of what, I didn’t know. 
I can hear the noise of packing tape being torn off the roll and so I followed the sound to this small home office that my dad had built years ago, when he owned his own business. He split up our garage and made the one half his office and the other a small garage area for storage. I walked up and leaned against the door frame with my hand on my hip and said, “Oh hey, what are you guys doing here?”. My brother answered my question with the very same question for me. I replied with, “oh I was just in the neighborhood and decided to stop in…….so what are you doing here?”. First he claimed to had been there to clean out the food from the fridge and stuff. I looked over to see Satan standing there, holding the baby and nervously pacing back and forth. I knew she was biting her tongue. Next to her were two piles of boxes stacked almost as high as her head. I then said to my brother, “Well what are you putting in these boxes then?” and at that moment he snapped back and told me that he was, “taking all of his old toys and stuff from the attic.”. Again I looked over at the boxes next to Satan and next to the two piles was my mom’s Christmas tree. When I finally moved out, to live with my husband, my mom had stopped putting up her big tree. Instead, she brought this 3-4ft tall fiber optic Christmas tree. My brother hated that thing. I knew he wasn’t the one who decided to take it and so I asked him, “oh, so is that Christmas tree one of your old toys?”. That’s when he really got pissed and told my to “mind my own fucking business” and that he can, take whatever the fuck he wants.”. I looked at him and told him that he was a money hungry, greedy piece of shit and I reminded him how he told me not to take anything from the house. Before he could even answer, Satan jumped in and says to him, “Don’t talk to her anymore, she’s crazy!”, and that was when I completely lost my shit! 
It had been three years in the making. Over the past three years I had only gotten into exactly ONE verbal confrontation with her, and that was when she showed up at my house, unexpectedly at 10:00 at night. The last few years,  but especially the last two months, came flying out of me in the most vile of ways. I yelled at her, “Shut your fucking mouth you dumb fucking twat! You dumb fucking twat, shut the fuck up!”. I think I called her every nasty name my imagination could conjour up. Finally, my brother told me to leave and I snapped back, “I’m not fucking going anywhere! I have just as much of a right to be here as you. I’ll sit right the fuck down and put my feet up on the coffee table.”. That’s when I heard Satan say, “I’m calling the cops.”. I walked back in the room and shouted, “Good! Go ahead and call the cops because you’re only going to make yourself look like a fucking idiot, because you are trespassing on the property!”. “As a matter of fact…”, I said, “I’ll call the cops too.”. I dialed 911, but I was bluffing, or so I thought, I wanted to see if she actually called them first but as I said it I accidentally hit the call button on my phone. A few seconds later I heard a voice and hung up. Then moments after that I get a call back from 911. I answer the phone and tell the officer what’s going on.
I walked through the house which had random items scattered all over the place. As I talked to the dispatcher I decided it would probably be best if I just waited outside until the cops came. I didn’t want to scare my brothers 18 month old kid anymore. The sad part is, the kid didn’t seem the least bit upset or scared with all the yelling. It must be a normal occurrence in their home, and she’s been desensitized to it. 
I was outside for all of about two minutes when suddenly I hear the front door flying open. I look up and out comes Satan with the baby in her arms and she walks down the porch steps and says to me, “you need to move your car.”. As I watch her walk by, I turned and told her, “I’m not moving shit! You called the cops and now you’re going to wait until they get here.”. She huffed and puffed her way to the car and put the baby in her car seat. My brother followed a few seconds later. 
As my brother walked by I asked him why he went to a lawyer and lied about my mom having a will. He didn’t answer and so I asked again. Finally he turned around and said, “because you stole the will!”. I told him, “no you fucking asshole, I never had the will. I had to get it from the lawyer and I have the letter and the envelope to prove it.”. That’s when he said one of the most fucked up accusations of all, that I forged a document. When the lawyer sent me both of my parents’ wills, he also sent a cover letter that said he sent the wills at my request, and he dated and signed the letter. My brother was accusing me of forging the letter! If I was going to take my chances forging the letter, why wouldn’t I forge the entire will then and leave all the money to myself?! I never heard such stupid bullshit in my life but I was really fucking angry. My brother has known me my whole life and knows what kind of person I am. I don’t know who made up this psychotic version of me but I have my guesses. 
He walked back into the house briefly and came back out. In that time I had pulled up a photo of the letter and I showed it to him and asked, “This? You think I forged this?”. You have to be fucking kidding me…. I have the fedex envelope at home, I can prove it to you.”. He looked up and dead into my eyes and said, “I don’t believe you!”. I yelled back, “you are so fucked up! What happened to you?”, and then I asked, “where’s your integrity?”. 
The whole time all of this is going on, their kid is sitting in the car in the complete darkness. They didn’t even bother to start the car. It was December 17th and it was freezing that night. There was about an inch of snow covering the ground. Despite that though, Satan was walking around in this sleeveless, shirt with ruffles on the shoulders, like it was the middle of July! I guess when you’re cold blooded the winter doesn’t bother you as much? 
At this point there was so much commotion, my mom’s neighbors slowly started coming outside to see what was going on. My brother  and Satan are in and out of the house carrying things back and forth. Him and Satan are trying to lock me out of the house and it got ugly. At one point, my brother and I got into a screaming match, right on the front porch. Satan is trying to lock me out the house, but I pulled the door back open. She sticks her head up and started yelling in my face, “I will have you arrested and locked away for a long time!”, like she’s the sheriffs daughter or something.  “I told her to shut the fuck up!”. More of her psychotic threats. My brother is about 2 inches away from my face with his fist clenched and his arm up and cocked back in the air like he’s going to hit me. Satan yells out, “don’t hit her! That’s what she came here for.” 
Let’s just let that soak in for a second. I think that last statement is a testament to how truly fucked up her mind is. Why on earth would I come there with the sole purpose of having my brother punch me in the face? My mind would never Think that way. Obviously since she is the one who said it, that’s the way her mind operates. I’m not into setting people up like that. Only a psychopath wound think of or do such a thing.
As my brother is holding up his fist I was screaming, “go ahead, hit me! Hit me!”. I knew he wouldn’t. Suddenly without any notice Satan come out of the door and fully launches herself between me and my brother. My instincts kicked in and as she came towards me, with the back of my arms, I shoved her. I am not exaggerating when I say the very second my arm came into contact with her body, she flew back a second and started screaming, “She hit me! I’m pressing charges!”. I swear over my son, she then took her hand and lifted up the ruffles on her shirt saying that I left marks while trying to scratch herself so there were visible marks! She did it several times! I watched her. I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing! If nothing else in this blog has convinced you that this girl is a full fledged psychopath, this should! 
Things escalated so quickly that I cannot remember every detail in its exact order, but I do remember at some point I asked them which one of them stole the pain killers. They both looked like two deers caught in the headlights. Neither of them denied it. They just told me I was crazy (deflection). Had they not taken them they would’ve probably said something like, “what pills?”, or “where were there pain killers?”. I also asked them the million dollar question, a question a have asked my brother SEVERAL times since my mom’s passing, “where were you when she was alive?”. Neither of them ever answer that question when it’s posed, and sometimes it’s the lack of an answer that tells you everything you need to know. 
Things cooled down a bit after the screaming match on the front porch. My brother and Satan went back into the house and I stayed outside. I stood there smoking a cigarette, pacing up and down my mom’s walkway. I could see my brother and Satan standing in my mom’s living room just a few feet away from the large window. Satan is frantically going through her phone, dialing numbers and putting the phone up to her ear. My brother was just standing there still, staring off into space with this look on his face like he was thinking, “this is not good!”. I really do wonder at times if my brother realizes how much he has let this girl fuck up his life. I also wonder if he’s even upset that my mom passed or that him and I no longer have a relationship. Sometimes I wonder if there is any part of the brother I once knew, in existence. 
My husband called as I was standing out there and I had explained everything that had happened up until that point. Suddenly I hear the door opening behind me and out comes Satan and a few seconds later, my brother. Satan walks right past me and gets into her car. I’m giving my husband the play by play, “oh here they come now, they’re getting in the car! She’s starting the car……where the fuck are they going? They called the cops!…….oh she is putting her seatbelt on…..what the fuck?…… she’s backing up!…….she better not hit my car!…….what is this crazy bitch doing?……she better not hit my car ……..she’s going into drive……where the fuck is she going?….she’s…..holy shit! She’s…..she fucking driving across my mom’s front lawn! HOLY SHIT!!!!!

Yes, this crazy bitch some how did some Austin Powers maneuver and managed to get her car which was parked, sandwiched behind behind my mom’s and mine, and she fucking drove across the lawn! She then peeled out into the street and drove out of sight. God blessed us with snow that night so I could capture a nice photo of the tire tracks going across the lawn. 

By this point in time all of the neighbors are outside and they’re all just standing there completely dumbfounded, and then one says, “What the fuck was that all about?”. I yell back across the street, “you got me!”. 
She wasn’t even gone a minute and finally the police officer arrives. He opens his window and asks, what’s going on. I turned around and pointed to the tire tracks on my mom’s front lawn and said, “well for starters, that’s what’s going on.”. Some of the neighbors crept over and listened in as I explained the situation to the cop. As I’m talking, I suddenly hear what sounds like a car skidding out. I look down to the end of the block and see Satan stopped on the middle of the road that crosses over my mom’s street. She throws the car in reverse and turns down the block with her tires screeching the whole way. She pulls over and her and my brother come out of the car all calm and collected like nothing has happened and they start explaining their side of the story, of course making themselves seem like the innocent victims. 
The cop was kind of an asshole and didn’t seem like he even wanted to be bothered with this situation. Satan was doing all of the talking, explaining how she talked to the “executors”, (aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie) and they said that they could take whatever the fuck the wanted, but all they were taking was my brother’s old Star Wars figures from the attic. I explained to the cop how they told me not to remove any items from the house and then they are there doing exactly that. I also explained how no executors had been appointed yet and so no one should be telling them to take anything. The cops then asks me if I really care that my brother is taking his stuff from the house and I explained to him that he was taking more stuff than what was his and that I couldn’t see what was in the boxes. The cop asks e if I care that he’s taking “his” stuff. I said no, but I argued back that if we go that route, I can say that anything in the house is “my stuff” and that I can take it. Technically ifits in her house it’s her property. I also told him that his wife shouldn’t be in there taking anything either because it’s not her mother’s house. I think he kind of understood at that point and so he told us we should all just lock up the house and leave. My brother asked if he could go back in the house to clean up and bring the garbage bags out and so the cop said ok, but only him. I stood out there and explained to the cop that I was sorry for being so agitated and hostile. I explained  that they were never around when my mom was alive, but that they now had no problem going through all of her stuff. Satan then walked back over and starts going on again about how I left marks on her. She was walking over to the car with her arm out, trying to show the cop the invisible marks on her arms. I looked down and told her they were freckles and that she needed to look in a mirror. She started going on about how she was going to go down to the precinct and press charges on me. She must be a professional at falsely accusing people of shit since she knew that you must go down to the precinct to do so. The cop turned to her and said, “That shit ain’t gonna fly here honey, just go sit in your car and wait.”. She walks away mumbling some shit about me being crazy and needing to be medicated and so I asked her, “oh you mean like the medication you stole from my mom?”. She finally turned around and threw her hands up and said, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”. That’s another one of her favorite lines when she’s confront by something that’s irrefutable. 
Finally I realized the cop was going to be no help and so I asked him if I could just leave. I pulled down the block into the convenience store parking lot and waited. I was going to go in the house after they left to see what they took. That’s when I noticed another set of headlights coming down the block and stopping in front of my mom’s house. After a minute, I realized that it was my husband and so I pulled down the block again and got out. My husband later told me that as soon he got out of the car, Satan came running up to him with her arm out yelling, “look what your wife did to me!”. She was telling my husband that she was going to press charges and my husband said to her, “Satan, please stop. You want to go press charges, go ahead because my wife can g press charges because you are trespassing on the property.”. My brother jumped in to remind my husband that she was his wife, (which he also said to me when I pointed out the same thing) but the cop interjected by saying, “you should listen to your brother in law, (my husband) he’s right.”. My husband told them that He and Satan should step aside and let me brother and I handle things, but Satan wouldn’t allow it. He told them how ridiculous this whole thing was And a conversation started about the will and how my brother thought I had it and we thought he had it. My brother started explaining how they tried to contact the lawyer who drafted the will, but before he could finish, Satan jumped in and said, “don’t tell him anything.”. With that, she grabbed my brother’s arm and they got in the car and they left. That was the last time I saw or spoke with my brother. 

Just like that, she was gone. Novemeber 20th 2016 the worst day of my life. 

The last few posts were very hard for me to write. Reading them back to myself, I can see how much I struggled. I am still grieving. As I wrote this it has barely been four months since my mom has passed. I am still in shock. I still won’t allow myself to fully go to that place where I get too deep because I am afraid of being so sad, and crying so much that I won’t be able to turn it off. From this point on in the story we are pretty much up to current times and everything I’ve been dealing with since her passing, and so once I fully catch up to present days I’m going to start talking about the grieving process and how I’m dealing with that. First though, I must finish the story and tell you all what happened in the days and weeks following her death and how crazy that all was for me. If you read any of this story, thank you. 

It was the morning of November the 20th, 2016 when my mom passed away, at 8:04 in the morning. I was the only one with her besides the nurses, who were complete strangers to me. They both looked at me and expressed their sorrow. I rubbed my mom’s arm and it was still warm. I stared to cry and said, “goodbye mama.”. The other nurse turned to me and said that they would give me a few minutes alone. For a second I panicked as if I were a little kid, that they are leaving me alone with her now lifeless body, but then I realized, this isn’t the scary part. The scary part was what I witnessed for the past month. It was just her body and her spirit had left it. It was still my mom. I thought to myself, she was finally at peace, with no more pain and I was ok. 
I got up out of the chair and paced around,  just looking at her. Her eyes were opened but looking down and I could see there was no life left in them. That is another image that is unfortunately burned into my brain. At the same time it was so scary, it was also peaceful. I found peace in knowing she didn’t have to suffer anymore and I didn’t have to watch her suffer anymore. I have never seen a person suffer in agony like that before and in so many ways. While what my dad went through was horrible, terrible, what I watched my mom go through over the course of that past year and especially in the month before she died, I cannot even find adequate words to describe it. Watching a person suffer like that will really make you question of there is a god because no human being should have to endure that much suffering. I have to believe that there’s a heaven and a place where we go on to bigger and better things because otherwise, it all seems to senseless.
I realized my family would be on their way shortly and so I decided to step out of the room to start making phone calls. I didn’t want everyone just showing up without knowing, and so the first person I called was my brother. He told me he and his wife were heading up to the hospital and would be there shortly. He also said he’d notify my aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea and I figured between them, they’d notify everyone else. I went to walk back to the room and the door was closed so I knocked. They told me to wait a moment and that they were just cleaning her up. In the meantime the on-call doctor came to talk to me. He apologized for the loss and had me sign some papers. He also asked me if I wanted an autopsy in which I declined. I’m actually sorry that I did. At times I question why things took such a drastic turn. Why my brother and his wife stayed away from the hospital for those few days before she died.

By the time I was done discussing things with him, the nurses were done. I walked into the room to see they had closed my moms eyes, neatened up the sheets and folded her arms over her chest, simarlarly to how they do it in the funeral home. They also gathered all of her belongings and put them in bags and piled the bags on the table and chairs. She had accumulated a lot of stuff in her months long stay. As I was in there I could almost here her telling me to grab her phone and her iPad before my brother and his wife got it. I knew my mom was like me and she never deleted her text messages. My brother would’ve been devastated had her read the text messages between me and her. I also knew she talked to a lot of people about what was going on and how much she hated his wife. I couldn’t do that to my mom. Even though she physically isn’t here, I felt like it was wrong. 
I walked downstairs to put them in my car and as I was on my way down my cousin Tina called me. Of all of my cousins her and I used to be the closest. Tina was Aunt Debbie’s daughter and she was an only child. I always felt bad that she didn’t have a sibling and so I sort of stepped into that role for her. We used to talk daily since the time she was a young teen.  After my mom she was probably the next person in my family that I communicated with most, but six months before my mom passed she kind of just cut off communication with me, without any explanations. There was nothing that I could think of off the top of my head that I did that would cause her to just drop me like that. In the same token I also didn’t bother to find out what was wrong. I was too busy caring for my mom. I eventually found out it was because of the letter I wrote to her mom. I was shocked. She is well aware of who her mother is and how she operates. I’ve never seen a mother and daughter at each other’s throats more than her and her mom. If my son ever spoke of me the way she spoke about her mom, I’d be really upset. Besides, I don’t think she was presented with my letter in its full context and so I almost can’t blame her for being angry. If you just read that last letter I wrote, it looks as if I’m just being a mean asshole.  That’s how my aunt operates. 
We stayed on the phone for a while. I hadn’t talked to her the whole time my mom was there except for a few texts in the very beginning, after I had accidentally called her one day. I told her all the crazy shit that was going on with my brother and his wife and how they were non-stop harassing her about seeing an eldercare lawyer and health proxies and her “wishes”. I hoped she’d share it with her mom so maybe she’d have an understanding of what was going on and why I’ve been so upset and angry. 
Eventually I saw my brother and Satan coming up to the hospital with their one and a half year old daughter. I figured I’d give them a few minutes alone with my mom, the. I told Tina I’d call her back. I walked into my mom’s room. My brother and Satan are sitting on the chairs and the baby is running around the room trying to lift up the blankets and stuff on my mom’s bed and Satan’s just sitting there talking and laughing as if she’s not sitting next to my mom’s deceased body. My brother just had this blank stare going on. I thought it was so strange and inappropriate that they even brought their baby. They always seem to find baby sitters when they want to go out to the bar but they can’t find one for now? Satan has a 14 year old daughter who could’ve looked after her. I told them I didn’t think there was any purpose for anyone in our family to come up. There was nothing for anyone to do. She was gone. The hospital was at least a half hour drive or more for the majority of my family. My brother agreed. He then turns to me and says, “oh yeah, by the way, we made an appointment at the funeral home for 3:00 today.” It was around 12:30. I had slept a total of just over 6 hours for the last three days. I hadn’t been sleeping well for long before then. I was dealing with insomnia for a long time. I explained that to him along with the fact I just wanted to go home and see my son and my husband and relax. I felt like I hadn’t seen them in a month. I was hardly ever home. I’d spend 8+ hours at the hospital each day. If I could, I’d bring my son up with me in the early afternoon and my husband would come pick him up around 3:30. Most nights, by time I got home they were both bed. I asked my brother why we couldn’t wait until the following day, like we did when my dad passed. My brother then said to me, probably one of the most fucked up things, he has said so far, “well I mean it’s thanksgiving is this Thursday.”. Was he fucking kidding? I’m sorry our mother’s death has inconvenienced your holiday. I said, “I don’t give a fuck about thanksgiving!” It’s so unimportant. My brother was always like that. He did what was convenient for him without taking anyone else into consideration. While he was at his house at a 50th Birthday party and sleeping in his nice comfy bed, I was sleeping on a shitty old piece of hospital equipment for the past two nights. If the roles were reversed I could guarantee he wouldn’t want to go that day either. 
When all was said and done he and Satan stood up and said they were leaving and they’d see me at 3:30. They just walked out. They didn’t even look at my mom, touch her, kiss her or say goodbye, while her body was still somewhat warm. They didn’t even look at her. I know she couldn’t hear them but it just showed me how emotionally unaffected then were by this. I never once saw my brother’s wife shed a tear. I saw my brother shed a few over the days prior but never when she was around. My girlfriend Kathy who was the nurse said that on that last night while I was at my house picking up my clothes and stuff, she walked in the room and was shocked to see my brother sitting there balling his eyes out, like to the point where he doing that weird breathing thing you do when you cry really hard. Of course Satan wasn’t there that night. It’s so sad that he cannot be vulnerable in front of her or show any weakness. I was happy to hear that had some human emotion left in him. Satan  on the other hand, didn’t seem the least bit upset about my mom’s departure. I know my husband cried. In our 9 years together it was the first time I ever saw him cry. 
They walked out of the room with the baby and their empty stroller and left me there to carry all of my mom’s belongings, all by myself. One of the male nurses there who I became friendly with, came in with a box of coffee for us that he paid for out of his own pocket. I felt bad telling him that no one else was coming. I have to say that the nursing staff at that hospital was phenomenal. I had become friendly with all of the nurses. I almost felt like they were my family for that month. They all treated my mom with kindness and compassion and most importantly, dignity. I felt like I was going to miss seeing them and talking to them everyday. Anyway, the male nurse who got me the coffee also went and got me an extra wide wheel chair to help he carry all the bags and belongings down to my car. It still took me two trips to get everything in my car. After the first trip I called Tina back and talked to her for about 15 minutes or so. When I came back in to get the bag I opened the door to my mom’s room and was startled to see a group of young medical students surrounding her bed. They all turned around kind of shocked to see me standing there and when they did I was able to see they had taped cotton over my mom’s eyes. The doctor, who I assume was their professor, started to apologize profusely about me having to see that. She then explained to me why they were doing that. My mom had obviously signed up to be an organ donor. Because they couldn’t use any of her organs or tissue because of the cancer, they were going to see if her eyes could be donated. The reason they needed to tape cotton to them was because so they could keep them moist. It didn’t bother me at all. In fact I was happy to see that they were going to try. I know that would’ve made her happy. 
I finally got back to my car and started to drive away from the place that had almost felt like home to me for those last few weeks. My 30 day parking pass expired that day and I had to pay for parking. It was bittersweet rolling out of there. I was happy to never have to go back but sad at the same time because I was leaving there alone. I had driven my mom home from there several times that year and now that was it. Never again would I drive her anywhere. It was a hard pill to swallow.
I got home and walked in my front door. My son came running up to me yelling, “mommy!”. My husband too. We all just say there and embraced one another and cried. We all sat down on the couch and I went over everything that had happened that day up until then. I told him I had to go to the funeral home and he agreed it was bullshit that they couldn’t wait. Neither of us could understand why they were so eager to get my mom’s wake over and done with and  on with their lives. 
As I was home I received a phone call from the place that handled donations of the eyes. The woman who answered was very pleasant to deal with. She needed some basic and background information about my mom. I ended up being on the phone with her that by time I got off, it was time for me and my husband to leave to go to the funeral home. 
We pulled up and of course my brother and Satan were already there sitting in the lobby. I needed my husband there too. Satan is very quiet when he’s around. I think she’s a little intimidated by him. It was so uncomfortable with her being there. It was like having a (demonic) stranger in the room sucking up all of the good oxygen. The funeral director was a woman, different than the woman who came up to the hospital. The first part of this meeting was completely redundant. It was exactly what we had accomplished in the hospital. She asked us basic info about my mom and once again my brother was looking at me for the answers. My husband and Satan were quietly sitting in two chairs off to the side. Then me moved on to how many days we wanted the service. At the same time I said, “one” and my brother said “two”. I wasn’t really sure why he wanted to do two, but I just went a long with it. I was much too tired and upset to argue. Then she showed us the book of Mass cards and we picked ones that had assorted pictures of flowers. My mom loved flowers. We decided to have a priest even though my mom wasn’t really all that religious. She still believed in god and I think she would’ve wanted him there for her family’s sake because a lot of my aunts and uncles are religious. 
After we wrapped up all of the details, it was time to talk money and how this was all going to be paid for, that’s when Satan jumped in. She had already apparently done her homework and knew that my mom had three life insurance policies and one of them lapsed. I was in complete shock. My husband and I looked at one another and without saying a word I know he was thinking exactly what I was thinking, “how the fuck does she even know about that shit?”. The funeral director said she’d look further into everything and see what was what.
As the funeral director was tallying the costs, my brother turns to me and says, “after here me and [satan] are heading over to [a local Irish pub]. We figured we would go there between the funeral services.”. I had went along with all their crazy bullshit up until this point but there was no way in hell I was agreeing with this. For the last two days Satan was going around telling my family members that we were going to go back to my mom’s house between the viewings. Whatever family member is was that told me that, thought it was incredibly ballsy for her to offer up my mom’s house. They also though it was a little strange. I also found it funny at she was able to lend her own home to a friend’s sister to have a 50th birthday party in, but she didn’t even offer it up for her husband’s family. Someone must of told them that was weird and so now they picked this Irish pub. I had to laugh when my brother said it, I replied to him by saying, ” [our mother’s Italian maiden name], we are Italian. There’s no way in hell we are going to [local Irish pub]. We will honor her by eating Italian food.”. I could see the smoke rising from Satan’s ears. I know she’s the one who picked that place. She is Irish through and through. St. Patrick’s day is her favorite holiday. I told him to go check out a local Italian restaurant to eat at. I wasn’t going to no pub so I could watch Satan get drunk. No thanks. 
After that it was time to go down to the show room of death, as I like to call it . . I was stunned the fist time I had been down there when we were making my dad’s funeral arrangements. It’s like a little store. The first room you walk into is all filled with urns and all these miscellaneous knick knacks and memorial items. You can really customize your wake. Then as you go through there, you enter a large showroom that’s filled with caskets that are all sitting there with their doors propped open. If there’s anything I learned from watching HBO’s six feet under, it’s that death is a business too, and this room confirmed it. 
We picked our casket and went back in the first room to look at urns since we were going to be cremating my mom. As I started to look around I noticed that not only did they have big urns, they had smaller ones too. There was one urn specifically that reminded me of something my Aunt Debbie would like. That’s when I got the idea. I again remembered my mom in her final days, that she just wanted her family and so I turned to my brother and said, we should get these for our aunt’s and uncle’s this way my mom could be with all of them. My brother agreed it was a good idea and the funeral director told us that during the wake she could pull down my mom’s siblings and our grandmother and they can pick the one’s they like. Since my mom told my aunt Debbie that she wanted her ashes mixed with my dad’s I decided to keep my dad’s urn and just add my mom’s ashes. My brother and Satan of course picked out the most expensive urn on the shelf for their house. God my mom would hate to be sitting on their mantle. 
Another thing that hit me as we were down in that room was that I didn’t remember discussing what two days exactly we would be having my mom’s wake and so I asked out loud. My brother answered, Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked at him like he had five heads. That left us with one day to find a place to go between viewings, get flowers and photos together, etc. etc. Again I had to open my mouth. I was concerned for some of my mom’s family who lived out of state, who may want to come to pay their respects. They’d need more than a day or two to make travel plans, especially given the fact that thanksgiving was that Thursday. I mentioned that to my brother and suggested waiting until the day after thanksgiving, to have the wake. Even though it would be hard, we could e at least have people the option to travel here.  His answer was that he already took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work. God forbid my mother’s death ruin his thanksgiving and his three day weekend. He’d rather waste his 2 days off from work so he could enjoy the rest of his week…..selfish fuck!
We walked out of the funeral home and Satan, still reeling about my “we are Italian” comment, ran straight to their car and didn’t say goodbye to either me or my husband. My brother stayed behind and talked with is for a few minutes. He started spewing plans of what we should do in the following days. The next day, he and Satan were going to order the flowers and go to the Italian restaurant. Then he started to go into this bullshit about just opening up my mom’s house and having an estate sale so we didn’t have to be bothered going through everything. I sat there and just looked at him dumbfounded and wondered, did he even know our mother? She actually used to go to estate sales all of the time because she would sell stuff on eBay. She always used to tell me how sad she thought it was that the family didn’t want to be bothered looking through the deceased’s stuff. She asked me never to do that if she died. I never would anyway. I know my mom was very sentimental, as am I. I want to touch and see everything she held. I want to find little treasures like a letter she wrote or card that she saved. My brother and Satan seemed like they wanted to be in control of everything……everything. 

(To be continued in the next post)

 

Novemeber 19th, 2016 11:30 pm and beyond…. The last talk. 

I was totally sure my brother would be gone by the time I came back. As mad as I had been with him, I still cared about him. I’ve made this analogy before, but seeing someone you love in a relationship with a narcissist, is like losing a family member to drugs. All you can do is sit back and watch them make horrible decision after horrible decision, and there  is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I know my brother, or rather, I “knew” my brother and what kind of person he was. If it was any other girlfriend, I don’t think my brother would’ve left the hospital at all that night. He was gone for four hours. He was well aware of what was going on with my mom and where she was headed. If I were in his shoes, seeing that he had missed the majority of the last three years with her, I would’ve wanted to stay there and soak up every minute of time with her. That goes to show how much control a narcissist has over their victims and how afraid their victims are to go against them. My brother had a choice that night. He could’ve told his wife to entertain her friends on her own and he could’ve chosen to stay at the hospital. I know my brother and I know that one day he is going to be very sorry about the choices he made during this time. I wonder if he spoke to my mom during that time. If he told her he was sorry or told her  he loved her. It makes me sad for him that one day he may see things clearly, but ultimately they are his choices and he is the one who will have to live with them and live with his regrets,….not me. 
My brother left only minutes after I got there and once again, I was alone with my mom during this scary time. There was one saving grace though and that was my nurse friend, Kathy. My mom had been up in that same unit for an entire month now and that whole time Kathy was never actually assigned to be her nurse. Out of the kindness of her heart she checked up on her for me whenever she was working her shift.  It just so ended up though that, that night, Kathy wasn’t even supposed to be there. She was covering for another nurse and she ended up miraculously being assigned to my mom’s room. If there was one thing to be happy about, that was it. I knew Kathy would take extra care of my mom and make sure she was  ok and as comfortable as she could be. 
I was in the room trying to set up the chair I was going to “sleep” in that night. Kathy came in to check up on us. We sat there for a few minutes both just stared at my mom.  We started to discuss how peaceful she looked. Kathy tried to arouse my mom by saying her name but my mom kind of grunted and went back to snoring. The other nurse came in and she and Kathy discussed cleaning my mom up and putting a clean night gown on her. She had been in the same one for several days at this point in time and there was stains and blood on it. Normally I would stay in the room when they cleaned her up but Kathy told me, it was probably best if I left this time. When people are in the condition my mom was in, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and could be quite distressing to the family. I was fine with that and so I took a walk down stairs to get some fresh air. 
When I got outside it had started to rain. I stood there close to the building and suddenly the rain started to really come down and the winds picked up. I saw a wheelchair flying across the street and it crashed into the curb. I remember thinking to myself, this is it. The storm was coming. It just seemed like something out of a Greek mythology tale. Like the sky’s we’re opening up to let my mom come in. The gods were coming to get her. Like the earth was angry for losing such a special person. I started thinking about the advice my cousin Nikki had told me and I knew that tonight was going to be the last chance I had and, so I k ew that this was the night for me to tell her all the things that we forget to say to one another on a day to day basis to the people we love.. Oddly enough though, kind of nervous and also I was scared. Scared that I would get too upset. Scared it was too late and she wouldn’t even hear me. Sacred I would freeze up and not know what to say. 
I went back upstairs and the nurses were finished up and just tidying up the room  I could tell at this point that she was awake. Her eyes were slightly opened. They left the room and it was just her and I,  alone. I closed the door and sat down. I sat there and stared at her for a few minutes. I looked at her arms and the bruises she had from being stuck with so many needles for blood tests and for dialysis. Those were the arms that held me as a baby. Those were the arms that hugged me and comforted me so many times. I wished I could freeze time. I wished I could keep her here forever. I wished she didn’t have to go through all the things she went through. I scanned her over and looked at her hands. I didn’t get many of my mom’s physical features. We could never share shoes because my feet are much larger than hers. We could never share clothes either,but the one thing we’d always swap was rings. Our fingers were the exact same sizes,  every one of them. I thought about my mom taking her rings off so she could roll the meatballs for her Sunday sauce. I realized I never learned how I never even learned how to make the meatballs and now it was too late. I just wanted to take everything in. Her face, her hair, her hands, just everything. 

As I was sitting there I suddenly remembered something. There was something I wanted her to have with her. I had gone to her house a few days prior to look for this necklace that she had, that she always wore. When my dad passed back in 2006, she had gone to a jeweler with an idea that she got from a friend. She took his wedding band and had them bend it into a heart shape. They added also added a bail to it so it would hang on the chain, flat. For some reason though, I couldn’t find it. I looked in all of her jewelry boxes and it was nowhere to be found. I found her wedding band but not my dad’s and so I grabbed that. Then I remembered she and I had purchased these necklaces after my dad passed. They  were crosses in which had a little screw at the bottom where you can put some of the ashes. I had been wearing mine for the whole time she was in the hospital. I took the necklace out of my pocket and quietly leaned over and said her name. Her eyes slightly opened up. I told her that I had something that I wanted her to hold close to her. I said to her, “this is the cross with daddy’s ashes, I know know much you have missed him for the last ten years and I want him to be close to you, so I’m going to wrap this around your hand and I want you to hold it.” I gently lifted her hand and wrapped it around and closed her hand on it. She was so weak she couldn’t even hold on to it. I then said, “go be with daddy. It’s ok, he is waiting for you.”. In the days prior my mom had been saying some strange stuff and she had mentioned my dad being there quite a few times. She also told someone she saw hands reaching out of her. That is actually a very common thing for people to do when they are dying. My dad did it too. 

After that, words just came naturally to me. I told her what a good mother she was and how lucky I was that god choose her to be my mother. I told her that if I could be even half as good a mother to mey son as she was to me and my brother, that I’d be ok. I told her how I admired her dedication and how she put her heart into everything she did in life from being an employee to being a wife and mother, and how I was lucky to have her as a role model. I told her how strong she was and how she never gave herself enough credit. My mom always compared herself to her sisters. She would always tell me, “I’m the fat, ugly sister.” I don’t know why she looked down on herself like that and so I reminded her that she always compared herself to them yet she didn’t realize that of all of them she was by far the most beautiful because she had the biggest heart, and like she always used to tell me, “beauty is only skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Beauty means nothing if you have a rotten personality and black heart. 
I was nervous for nothing. The words just came out. Naturally, and I told her everything I wanted to say to her. There was one thing that I know she needed to hear before she left this world and so I promised her that I would try my hardest to fix everything with my family but most importantly my brother.  I think my mom’s biggest fear in this world was leaving it knowing that me and my brother would still be separated and wouldn’t be there for one another. I wanted her to know I’d try. 
 As I was talking to her, her head was leaned away from me facing in the opposite direction. I walked around the bed, then I got real close to her, and I bent down so she could see me in her line of vision. I told her try to look at me. To really try to focus. I saw her eyes straining to move. I promised her I was going to be ok, but I was going to miss her terribly. That was when suddenly I heard a noise come from her mouth. I couldn’t make it out. Her voice was extremely raspy and low. I asked her to say it again and out came three short, one syllable words, “I luh you.”. I looked at her and asked, “did you say I love you?”. She nodded her head once and then she just kept saying it over and over until her voice was no longer able to come out and just her lips were moving. I saw a tear drop from her eye and I started to cry and I told her I loved her too, more than she could ever know. 
I love you wasn’t a phrase that was often said in our home. In the months prior there would be times I’d be with her and my brother would call and every time they hung up she’d say, “I love you.”. She didn’t say those words to me often and I don’t think it’s because she didn’t love me. I think it was just that we didn’t need to say that to one another all of the time. It was pretty obvious by the closeness of our relationship and how we talked to one another multiple times a day, everyday. The week prior to this day was really hard too. I felt like she was angry with me. She was snippy with me and had yelled at me a few times when I was trying to help her. I felt like she was annoyed by me being there and at times, maybe she didn’t want me there. I know now that is a common part of the process of dying. Anger and detachment. It’s something I guess we need to do to separate ourselves from the ones we love. I needed to hear those words at that time and I am so glad I did. It was a beautiful moment in such a horrible situation. I was happy about it but at the same time, completely devastated. I knew that it was the last time I’d ever hear those three words fromher mouth. 
I sat there for a few moments and I could actually see she was finally relaxed. I watched her as she drifted back off into sleep. It was an emotionally intense situation. I needed to get up and take a lap around the building. I walked out the room and ran into Kathy. She told me to come take a break with her as she ate her late night dinner. I sat down in the break room with her and two other nurses. They shared some crazy stories with me and it was nice to forget what I was going though for a minute. I don’t know how those work do what they do. How they leave this shit at the hospital and manage to go home and be wives and mother’s without letting all that sadness affect them. I have a whole new appreciation for nurses. I really admire them and the work they do. It takes a special kind of person to do what they do.

I went back into mom’s room and sat there for a bit. I had probably only slept a total of four hours in the last two nights. It was starting to catch up with me. Kathy came back in and we sat there and talked for a while. I am not going to lie. My mom looked scary. She had her head turned to the side, one eye was wide open while the other was half way shut. Ten years ago I never would’ve imagined myself being able to sit there alone with someone I loved in such horrible condition and looking so scary. It’s an image that I don’t want to remember, but any time I think back to her time at the hospital, that is all I see in my head. I hope in time that vision fades. I do not want to remember my mother like that. 
It was rounding 4:00am and I had set myself up as close to my mom as I could physically be. I wanted to be able to hold her hand and touch her. When my dad was in the hospital my mom slept in that chair every night and held his hand. My mom was the most fiercely loyal woman on theplanet. Her love was truly unconditional. I hated that she had to be in a hospital dying. I wished she could’ve had the privilege to be home on hospice as my dad was, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. My dad was in the hospital a week or so prior to his death. He made the decision to stop all treatment and go on hospice at home. He didn’t want to die in a hospital. My dad accepted his situation and in a strange way, his death gave me a whole new respect for him. He handled it all like a true man, like a father should. He sat all of us down one by one and talked to us about his decision. I will never forget that conversation. He told me he was going to stop treatment because he didn’t want to go through all the bullshit anymore. I told him, “dad although I don’t want to see you go, I understand. It’s YOUR life and I can see that you are tired of fighting.”. Back when my mom’s kidneys failed in the early 90’s, I remember being in the car with my dad one time on the way up to visit my mom in the hospital. My dad said to me, “if I ever get sick like your mother is, just kill me. I don’t ever want to be sick like that. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I don’t know how she does it.”. I remembered him saying that and I told him, and my dad said one of the most meaningful things he had ever said to me, in my life. He said,” [my name] you are the only one who gets me.”. Those words meant a lot to me because I knew he wasn’t just talking about in this situation. He was talking in general terms. Of his four children, my brother, me and two half sisters from a previous marriage, he had very tense relationships with three. I think I was the only one who cut him some slack and understood the reasons as to why he was the way he was.

Anyway, I got off track there but my mom literally stuck right by his side as he was going through the transition of leaving this world and going to another. In the last few days of his life, either me or her were in the room. She hadn’t showered in days. She would only leave the room to get food or go to the bathroom. We were sitting there talking one day and my mom was saying how disgusting she felt and how badly she needed a nice hot shower. I told her to go and that my dad would be fine for a few minutes. We called my brother, who was living in the basement, to come upstairs and stay by his side. My mom turned on the water. At the time I was going through some old pictures of my dad so we could display him at his wake and I had all the albums and stuff laying on my mom’s bed. I left the room that he was in and went into their bedroom. The very second after I closed the door I heard my brother screaming, “he’s gone! He’s gone!”. It was the first time in three to four days that both me and my mom were both out of the room, at the same time. I truly believe he was waiting for a moment like that because he didn’t want us to see him take his last breath. I felt like my mom deserved the same thing. She deserved to leave this world with someone by her side, especially since she was so scared and not ready to die. She never made it to the acceptance stage. She didn’t have enough time. 
I don’t even remember falling asleep that night. The last thing I remember was saying goodnight to my mom and kissing her of the forehead, then laying down and watching a video on my phone. At about 7:30 am I woke up to the sounds of beeping machines and Kathy and another nurse, talking in a dull whisper. I popped my head up and asked what was going on. She told me my mom’s heart rate went up extremely high and she was trying to calm her down. I was trying so hard to stay awake, but it felt almost as if someone was pulling my eye lids down. The previous night when the nurses were in and out of the room I’d pop up and feel wide awake. The first thing I’d do is look at her chest to see if she was still breathing. This time I was fighting to keep my eyes opened and I don’t even remember falling back to sleep. 
At a few minutes after 8:00 I was awoken by someone saying,”sweetie…..sweetie, you need to wake up, this is it…your mom is going.”. I was a bit disoriented and so I looked up at the clock, and then right away realized where I was. My head shot over to the right of me to look at my mom’s chest, as I did all of those other times. I asked the nurse, “she’s not breathing?”. She said, “she just stopped “. As she was talking she grabbed my grabbed my mom’s wrist and held it, then said, “she still has a pulse.”. There was a long pause of silence, as I sat there staring at the nurse holding her wrist. It seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few short seconds. She then jerked back a bit, almost as if she was startled. She slowly put my mom’s arm down and said, “I have to call the doctor.”……..
….and just like that, at 8:04 in the morning on November 20th, 2016, my mom passed away…….

(To be continued in my next post)

 November 19th 2016 (early morning and day) 

I had left the hospital and ran to my house to grab some of my stuff so I could sleep there. They had this baby blue, fake leather, recliner chair in my moms room and that was going to be my bed for the night. Aunt Debbie decided she wasn’t going to stay. Instead she was going to go home and sleep and come back early in the morning. It was super late. The nurse set me up with a blanket and pillow and I tried to get settled in, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I was too nervous. I was just sitting there watching my mom’s chest go up and down as she breathed. She looked very peaceful and if there was anything to be happy about, that was it. I hadn’t seen her completely calm and peaceful in such a long time. Ever since she had her surgery to remove the 8″ cancerous mass and her kidney,  back In February of 2016, it’s like a piece of her soul was left on that operating table. She just wasn’t the same. She seemed detached sometimes and like she was distracted by her own thoughts, or in her own world. Our conversations went from gossiping about who posted what on Facebook, to what new aches and pains or new symptoms she was feeling, which doctors she had to see next, and what prescriptions she needed to refill. I missed the regular bullshit conversations we used to have and I knew at this point we’d never have them again. 
Before she left that night, my cousin Nikki gave me some advice. She told me that she read somewhere that the hearing was the last thing to go and so she told me talk to her and say the things I needed to say to her. I wanted to say things to her but I wanted to do it at a time where she was sort of awake and could hear me. I didn’t want to wake her because she looked so peaceful. I also felt a little uncomfortable talking to her, in that way, with another person in the room.  The nurses were in and out and I just felt it wasn’t the right time to say those kind of thin with complete strangers, and so instead I took my chances and held out for the next day when hopefully she’d be in a private room. Remembering back to when my dad was at the end of his life,and how he was in his final days and hours, I didn’t think my mom was quite there just yet. 
At around 3:30, 4:00 am I tried to fall asleep. The chair was terribly uncomfortable and not made to sleep in. It was old and I think maybe a bit broken because it wouldn’t stay locked into the recline position. Every time I’d move it would start folding in on me. I may have finally dosed off at about 4:30 but I didn’t sleep. Every few minutes something would wake me up. Whether it was the nurses coming in and out all night, the machines beeping because someone bent their arm and occluded their Iv port or people talking loudly in the halls, I kept getting woken up. Both my mom and her roommate were moaning and groaning in their sleep. They had put my mom back on her dulladin drip and so I’d hear her moan and I’d look over to see her fidgeting with the button, trying to press it, and I’d have to get up and press it for her. Every time I was awoken, I would jump up in a panic and then I wouldn’t be able to fall back to sleep. 

I don’t think I got a solid hour in a row of sleep until about 5:30/6:00am Around 7:30am I opened my eyes to see my brother sitting in the other chair, kind of staring at me. I asked him what time it was and he told me, and then he pointed  to the table and tells me that be brought me a cup of coffee. He told me I could go home, (thanks for the permission) and that he’d be there and his wife, Satan would be up there in the afternoon. I actually wanted to go home so I could freshen up, take my pajamas off and out regular clothes on. 

I got home and sat with my husband for a few minutes and told him what had happened during the night. I was exhausted but decided to just push myself to put clothes on and go back up there. I asked my husband if he could bring our son up there to say goodbye to his grandmother, one last time. I got dressed and went right back up there. 

When I got there, the doctor came into the room and asked me and my brother to talk and so he told us that the patient who was in the single room was being discharged and that they were just waiting on housekeeping and they’d move us into that room so we could have private time with my mom. I was so grateful for that. Losing a family member like that is probably one of the most intensely emotional situations you can ever go through. It should be done in private, so the family can feel free to express themselves to the patient. 

My brother told me around 12:00pm that he and his wife had called a representative from the funeral home and that they were going to come there around 3:30. I was really annoyed that he went and did that after asking me for my opinion and me saying no. There he goes being a team player again. I knew this was all Satan’s doing. She is a chronic planner (not sure if that’s even a thing, but it is now) and has to plan every hour of everyday of her life. I was so sorry my mom’s death was impeding on her life. I can say with 110% certainty that she was the one who not only suggested it, but she got in touch with the funeral director and coordinated everything. I can totally see preplanning a funeral for an elderly person or for someone who’s been battling something like dementia or Alzheimer’s before they get to the point where they can no longer express their wishes, but what happened to my mom was kind of unexpected and we knew she only had a matter of days or hours left with her. 
My husband came up shortly after. I met him downstairs in the parking garage. We got in the elevators and made our way up to my mom’s floor. Some of my family had arrived by that point and when we were coming up, they were heading down to grab coffee and snacks from the cafeteria. My husband and I walked into the room thinking we were going to be the only ones in there. My mom was still in the double room at that point. We walk in and the curtain is all the way drawn so we couldn’t see my mom. As we finally get past the curtain we see my brother and Satan are sitting there, at her bedside. They didn’t see us right away and so I look down and I see Satan pulling out this packet of paperwork out of her bag. As soon as she realizes it’s us in the room she, quickly jams the papers back into her purse, which was a Michael Kors tote bag , and she puts her arm over it and pulls it tightly into her body. She’s all nervous and just starts babbling random shit with my brother. My husband whips his head around and looks at me as I do the same. I quietly say, “did you see that? What the fuck was the all about?”, and he replies, “I don’t know but it looked really fucking shady.”. Satan is holding on to her bag for dear life like Ben Stiller, at the end of Meet the Parents, when he’s on the plane with his luggage! 
We couldn’t believe what we both saw. It was clear Satan had some type of document in her possession that she didn’t want anyone, especially us to see. It’s very obvious when someone is being sneaky. Both me and my husband have a pretty good read on these kinds of things. We knew it was something shady. 
Me and my husband went downstairs and into the parking garage so I could have a cigarette and calm down. Once again we were left to speculate as to what was going on. We knew they were up to something and obviously had been formulating some sort of plan, exactly what, we didn’t know. I also started to question my mom and of all the things that happened in the last year, that’s probably the one thing I regret. My last text to her was on Tuesday Nov. 15th and it read, 
“I have to tell you. I feel like something is going on. Like you’re not telling me something. Is there something you need to tell me? I know there’s something going on that I don’t know about. This whole thing with [my brother] and his wife and the camera is completely not making sense to me. Why they were putting cameras in the house??. I just don’t get it.” After that I wrote, “Ok. I’ve made you a priority in my life for the past ten years since daddy has been gone and especially in the last couple of years, months and weeks. I have sacrificed my time with my son and my husband to be there for you. I just want to know what’s going on. That’s all. I just know something is not being said.”

She replied, 

“if you think I would do anything against you you’re out out of you’re miimh [sic].”

I didn’t think my mom would do anything to hurt me, but I knew she was holding back information from me. There were a few things said to me here and there that didn’t make full sense and I was able to tell there was more to it than what she was telling me. I know why she did it and I cannot even be mad. There were a few reasons, one being that she had to make peace with her son, so she can have her own peace, to absolve her of all the guilt she was made to feel because she stood up for herself. A lot of that guilt came from Aunt Bea. She made my mom feel like she was a terrible mother for putting her foot down and demanding respect. Although, she was in denial about her own situation and what my brother was doing, I think deep down inside she knew what was going on and I think she just wanted peace of mind. The other reason was that she didn’t want me to be alone. She knew how badly her death was going to effect me. About a week before she died I was up in her room visiting and out of nowhere she said to me, “[my nickname] I’m sorry.”. I asked her why she was sorry and she told me,” I’m sorry because I feel bad that this is what your life has become.”. I told her, “don’t be sorry for me, I’m fine. Feel sorry for yourself, you are the one who’s going through the hard stuff, not me.” I had to explain to her that there was a difference between “wanting” to be there and “having” to be there. I wanted to be there.
My husband and I were out in the parking garage and the more we talked the more angry we were getting. With everything else that was going on we thought maybe they were going to try to get my incapacitated mother to sign something. Maybe she had already signed something and they were just reviewing it. My husband was vexed and said he would go right up to her and ask him to show him what was in her bag. As badly as I wanted to grab her pocketbook like a mugger in Central Park; it was probably best if I let him handle this one, this time. 
We made our way back up stairs and by the time we got up there the nurses had informed them that the private room was ready for us. My brother and Satan were moving all of her belongings out of the room and transferring them over to the other room. My husband and I entered the empty room where they were and we just sort of stood there quietly. I kind of blocked the doorway and my husband, holding my son, walked a little further in the room. Neither my brother or her made a peep. I watched them carelessly pile my mom’s belongings on the radiator. I looked over at my husband and I could see his mouth opening like he was going to say something but the words wouldn’t come out. Instead I just gestured to him to leave the room and we went back in to my mom’s room. He gave my mom one last kiss on the head and told her he loved her. He then held my son over her to give her a kiss. She didn’t even respond. Seeing my son say goodbye and knowing it was the last time he’d ever see her; well it was the most gut wrenching thing I had ever seen. I will have that vision, along with many others, burned into my memory forever. 
My husband left and by that time almost all of my family was up there. They took over the waiting room once again. They even brought some wine which I totally thought was wrong,  but whatever, to each their own. It was nearing 3:00pm and my brother told me that the woman from the funeral home was running a little late and would be there in a little while. I was already extremely annoyed with him and this wasn’t helping. I just said whatever and decided to go downstairs to blow off some steam. As I head for the elevators, I had to pass the waiting room where I see Aunt Bea coming out. I tried to speed up and walk away, but she walks up to me with this soft spoken voice, as if she were talking to a four year old, and asked me if I minded if my aunt and uncles sat in on the meeting. In reality, her and Uncle Bob wanted to sit in there because Uncle Bob seemed to think he had some type of control over my mom’s estate since Aunt Bea was one of the executors; and she can’t even tell her ass from her elbow when it comes to that kind of shit. She had to include everyone else so it didn’t look to obvious. I don’t remember my exact words but my response went something like this. “I really don’t give a fuck, in fact I don’t give a fuck about any of this fucking bullshit because I think it’s a huge fucking waste of time….do what you want.”. With that, I walked away and got on the elevator. 
I was so angry. Once again no one in my family speaks up. I know I wasn’t alone either. There absolutely were others who thought that it was a huge waste of time and completely fucked up, but no one felt like it was their place to say so. I understand that no one wants to be that person and start drama, but it sucked that no one had my back. It was such an unnecessary thing to do. I was pacing back and forth in the parking garage when I spotted a woman holding a tote bag and she had a little name badge on and I recognized the logo on her badge from the funeral home,  so I followed her inside and ended up on the same elevator as her. I was so annoyed I could literally feel my blood boiling. I got off the elevator and walked down to my moms room to put my stuff down. As I was heading there I round the corner to see Satan walking shoulder to shoulder with the woman from the funeral home. Something about seeing her with this big,  shit eating grin on her face, like she was enjoying the fact that my mom was on her death bed,  really bothered me. I don’t even know what came over me but I walked and stopped right in front of them. Looking down at Satan who’s a few inches shorter than I am, I said, “what the fuck are YOU talking to her for, this is none of your business. It’s my mother.”. I could tell Satan was taken aback for a second and finally she says, “I’m not doing anything!”. That’s always her response.I wasn’t  surprised. I told her good, don’t do anything, this is MY mother. I knew all of this was her doing but she will try to convince me it was my brother’s idea. I wanted her to know she was not going to pull this shit anymore. That she was not going to push me around and control my mother’s funeral. She neededto know not to mistake my tolerance for weakness and my weakness for stupidity. I also wanted her to know she wasn’t welcome in the meeting either.  She turned around and stormed off down the hall. 
I was just so angry that day from everything. These situations are hard enough on their own without the extra bullshit. My mother was still breathing, a few doors down and we are sitting in a hospital waiting area planning her funeral. It just felt wrong and I really wanted no part of it, but I knew if I didn’t go in there, I was going to have no say in anything. I couldn’t seem to calm myself down. My heart was racing a million miles a minute and I could feel my body shaking. I could feel my anger trying to escape my body like the Incredible Hulk. I couldn’t sit down and so I went to the furthest corner of the room and squatted down as my body shook. One by one my mom’s siblings shuffled in. All were there except one. Surprisingly my Uncle Bob didn’t come in. My cousin Nikki was the only cousin there too, and she sayt directly opposite me in the other corner of the room,and we kept looking at each other the whole time, just shaking our heads in disbelief. She was the only one who got it. I found out later that Satan left the hospital all pissy because I had said something to her. Good. It was about time. 

There was an awkward tension in the air and I know it all had to do with me. I didn’t care. Even the woman from the funeral home looked a little uncomfortable. She started to ask my brother for some basic information and it was actually kind of humorous listening to him struggle to find answers of for the most basic of questions like what was my mom’s job title at her place of employment. I let him make a fool out of himself. This was his show; not mine. The woman then gets to the part where she asks if my mom has a will. I look at my brother who replied “ummmmm, I don’t know.”. I couldn’t believe he was sitting there playing dumb in front of my whole family, me so I couldn’t stop myself  stop myself, out loud I said,”[brother’s name] really? Cmon man, you know she has a will! Stop lying, you snuck into her safe how many times in the last few months??”. He then said, “well…well… well I didn’t know if she had it changed or not.”. I said, “no she never did. She has a will and ir names  her ( I pointed to aunt Debbie) and her (aunt Bea) are the executors. Stop the lying already!”. Aunt Debbie then jumps in and says, “ok this isn’t the time for that.”. I looked up at her and said, “yeah? Well it’s not the time for lying either!”. I was so sick of my brother playing stupid. He knew exactly what he was doing. 

There wasn’t much more we could accomplish there except for discussing her basic info and talking about how many days we were looking to have the wake. It was a huge waste of time, just as i knew it was going to be. We still had to go to the funeral home to finalize things. The same thing could’ve been accomplished in a simple phone call. It really didn’t save us time or do anything else for that matter. We just got the formalities out of the way. All it was was a big old show to make it look like my brother actually gave a shit about my mom. They just wanted to put a show on for the family, at the expense of the precious time my mom had left.
At the end she was about to give us an estimate for the two days of wake service and cremation costs. As she was adding everything up, people started to shuffle p out of the room, leaving just me and my brother there alone. A few seconds after everyone leaves the room, my uncle bob opens the door and comes walking in with his chest puffed out like she’s some type of tuff guy. He didn’t even look at me. Instead he walks right over to my brother, sits down in the seat right next to him and pats him on the back as if to console him. He didn’t look at me at all during the whole rest of the meeting. I fucking hate that asshole. He made it very clear to me that day by doing that. He had chosen a side and clearly, it wasn’t mine.  
It was really nice that my mom had her own room. We could all sit in there and not have to worry about disturbing anyone else. There was a very somber tone in the room. I wonder to this day if my mom was at all conscious while everyone was there and if she heard everyone’s voices and knew we were all there. I do not remember if she even opened her eyes, while everyone was there. The more she slept, the closer I knew she was to leaving us. I realized that night that my mom was the unique one out of her whole family. When you come from a large family where the siblings’ ages span over a decade, their tends to be little cliques in within the family unit. The older siblings tend to be closer with one another and the youngest seem to stick together too. My mom was closest with Aunt Debbie and Aunt Bea but kept a special relationship with each and every one of her siblings and each and everyone of them valued that and valued her and the things she for them. She made everyone feel special in their own way. 

She always made sure to periodically call all of them to see how they were. I don’t think the rest of them call each other as much as my mom called all of them. I know she’s my mom and people are not going to talk negatively about her,  but I have heard each one of them talk about others but I never heard anyone talking negatively about my mom. In fact, it seems she really stood out. I was told by almost all my Aunts and Uncles stories about how she’d go out of her way to make everyone feel special. For instance her youngest sister would always tell me how of all the sisters, my mom always treated her the best. She would always buy her stuff when she was a kid. Being that she was so much younger, when  my mom was was a manager at a store  she’d bring my aunt to work with her all of the time and pay her to work for the day. She’d also buy her things she needed like new shoes,  help her with her homework and pay her to do chores like fold her laundry, so she can have a little pocket money to buy candy and stuff. My aunt told me that my mom was the only one who did that. My mom was the one that everyone used to turn to for advice and her opinion was always respected. I’m proud to say that she taught me to treat people with the same care and kindness.
My heart really broke for my grandmother. She didn’t leave my moms side for the entire two days. She just sat there staring at her, saying, “that’s my baby.”. . I really feel like she got lost in all of this. I’m not saying my aunts and uncle’s don’t care about her. They all do a great deal, but I think sometimes they just write her off as this old lady who can’t hear that good and they’re so wrapped up in their own god damned feelings about things, that no one really sat with her and comforted her or discussed how she felt about everything. I made it a point to sit down next to her (as did my cousin Nikki) and really ask her how she was feeling about everything and how she was holding up. . I couldn’t imagine what was going through her head having just found out how really sick my mom was. I sat down next to her and just held her hand. Here it was three generations of women and one who going well before her time. 
It was around 6:00-7:00 in the evening when my brother stood up and announced he was going to go home for a little bit but he’d be back. Had he left it at that, I wouldn’t have thought much of it but he goes on to tell whoever else was in the room at the time that he has a party going on at his house! Apparently his wife had offered their house up for a friend’s, sister’s 50th birthday party. He goes on to make this lame excuse that they couldn’t cancel it because they didn’t have any way of getting in touch with all of the people. He then buried himself by saying they were all invited via Facebook. Maybe it’s just me but I found it kind of ridiculous that he’d even entertain a party while his mom was in the hospital dying, and if these people were “friends”, you’d think they’d understand what was going on and move their party elsewhere. 
It wasn’t until about 11:00pm that he ended up coming back. By that time my family started leaving. I had to go home too, to grab clothes for another long night……

(To be continued in my next post…..)

Novemeber 18, 2016 the beginning of the end….(part b) 

My brother got up to the hospital shortly after talking to him. We paged the doctor and he was there within minutes (which is highly unusual). He explained the same things he had told me, to my brother, and thankfully my brother agreed with my “choice.” It wasn’t really much of a choice though. It was really the only option we had. 
He explained to us that it could be hours or days until she actually passed. About a week prior to this there was a woman in my mom’s  room who was clearly at the end of her life. She was older than my mom by many years and I could tell she was in her last days. She was sleeping non-stop and when the nurses would come in, she would start screaming at them, telling them to leave her alone and to not touch her anymore. This anger and agitation is a very common part of the process. Anyway, this poor woman had no visitors for days until her sons finally showed up. They moved her into a private room where she passed away peacefully. I asked the doctor if it was possible we could do the same for my mom and he told me he’d try his best to get us that room. 
Although I saw this coming from a mile away, I was still in complete shock. There were no questions anymore. No hope. My mother and best friend was going to die. People say it’s “easier” sometimes when you know before hand. They say you can prepare yourself. In a wa yes, but in reality, nothing can ever prepare you for losing someone. In a way it’s almost harder because while you know it’s going to happen, you don’t know when and so you are stuck in a constant t state of anxiety. I knew this was coming since the day I heard she had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. I read many articles about cancer in immunocompromised patients and what the survival rates were and statistically, they were not good. I knew it would be a while but not knowing how or when was what made it so hard for me. Losing my mom was my biggest fear not just for that month or year but for my whole life. Since the day I was born I had this connection to her where I never wanted to let her go. My mom used to tell me this story all of the time about how no one could hold me except her, when I was a baby. My aunts used to get mad because they wanted to hold me but every time my mom would hand me to one of them I would scream bloody murder until they gave me back over to my mom. One time her and Aunt Debbie decided they’d try to fool me and so they went into another room and switched shirts. Aunt Debbie picked me up but her face was turned away. She said right away I knew something was wrong and so I kept trying to pull Aunt Debbie’s face toward me. Finally she gave in and and turned her head and as soon as I did, I started to scream for my mom! No one can ever take her place. 

It was my husband’s 40th birthday that day and it killed me when  I had to call him and tell him the worst news I’ve ever delivered to another human being. My husband had a really good relationship ship with my mom. He was better to her than her own son was. He always called to check on on her and sometimes he’d go over there on Saturday mornings while I was still sleeping, so she could see our son. I knew this news was going to hurt him too. I asked him to come up and if he could bring my son so he could see her in hopes that maybe she’d remember it. 
The night before, when I was up at the hospital, I was trying to clean up my mom’s room. I was just fidgety and didn’t know what to do with myself. I just wanted to keep her awake and talking to me so I kept asking her questions what she wants to do with this or that. She wasn’t really responding much except for “yes’s” or “no’s”. She was sleepy and she was kind of trying to talk, but she was kind of going in and out. I asked her, “what is it ma? What do you want?” She looked at me and said, “I just want my family.” and so I remembered her saying that to me and I knew that meant she wanted me to get them there. 
One by one my aunts; uncle’s and cousins all started to pour into the hospital. All 5 of her siblings were there with their husbands or wives (except for Aunt Debbie who is twice divorced) and a lot of my 12 cousins, also came. They set up shop in the waiting room where my brother and I had just sat down with the social worker, the day prior. Everyone took turns going in and out of my mom’s room to visit with her. It was sort of overwhelming. Everyone was crying and in shock. I don’t think anyone realized how bad she really was and later I found out why. They were being misinformed by my brother and his wife. 
Satan told us she had to leave to go to the doctor and it was nice not having to see her around for a little while. My brother was actually spending some time with my mother. He hadn’t been up there in days. I could see in his face that there was a lot going on in his head. My brother was very quiet that day. I wondered exactly what it was, that was  going through his head or if he even cared. I wondered if he had any regrets that he hardly saw her or acted like she existed for almost three years. That in and of itself just made me sad. I loved my brother, but I just hated who he had become. It still hurt me to know he was going to have to live with all that regret for all the fighting they had done. Prior to Satan my brother had a very good and very close relationship with our mom. He would keep in regular contact with her and make sure to visit her at least once a week. It was sad to me that he let someone else spoil that. 

Another difficult part of that day was when my grandmother arrived. She was about to get the shock of her life. My grandmother had no idea that my mom even had cancer. My mother elected not to tell her. I thought it was a very bad choice and she was doing my 89 year old grandmother a disservice. When I asked her why she didn’t want my grandmother to know, my mom told me that Aunt Bea had decided that it would be best that at 89 years old, she didn’t have to worry!  Aunt Bea thinks she’s the mother. How fucking dare she make that decision for her and for my mom. That is not her story. I was really disappointed in my mom. They think they were protecting her but all they were doing was hurting her. I tried to put myself in her shoes and think which I’d be more upset about, knowing my daughter had cancer and being able to mentally prepare myself and making sure I talk to her and spend as much time as possible with her, or not knowing she had cancer for an entire year and then finding out when is too late. I sorted avoided my grandmother for the last few months when things started to slowly decline because if I was talking to her, and she asked me any questions, I was NOT going lie to her and like I felt about Aunt Bea, it was not my story to tell. Many of the nurses in the hospital had this same talk with my mom. They would ask if her mother knew what was going on and my mom would say no and then the nurses would all say the same thing, that my mom was doing her a disservice. By this time I think my mom had lied so long she felt too bad having to explain herself. 
My husband left and went home to watch my son. I really wished he could stay because I could’ve used someone to be on my side. I felt like I was virtually alone. The whole time my mom was in the hospital, out of five of my aunts, only one reached out to me and that was my mom’s youngest sister. Of all my cousins, the only ones who checked in on me was my oldest cousin Nikki. She was the only one who consistently called me. My aunt Bea and my aunt Debbie weren’t being mean but they were kind of ignoring me and giving me the cold shoulder. Likewise, I was kind of avoiding them. I was avoiding almost everyone. My cousin Nikki was by my side the whole time and I could never thank her enough for treating me kindly, having some compassion and understanding. She actually listened to me vent and actually tried to empathize with me. No one else wanted to hear anything I had to say and that really sucked because I think if they knew the story they’d understand why I was the way I was at that time. 
In the late afternoon I was in the waiting room with some of my family. Aunt Bea, uncle Bob a few others were in my mom’s room. Satan came back from her Doctors appointment. She walks in and my aunt Debbie asks her how her doctors appointment was and suddenly she pulls this sheet of paper out of her purse and starts reading it to everyone. Her reason for going to the doctor was because she had an upper respiratory infection. Anyway, she starts reading off what the doctor prescribed to her, antibiotics, a cough syrup and……. oxycodone (aka Vicodin or Percocet) . My aunt D yells out, “oxycodone? What kind of doctor is prescribing you oxycodone for an upper respiratory infection?”. Satan says, “I guess this doctor.”. “My aunt D says jokingly, “Damn wish my doctor would do that!”. Satan made a comment that she had bottles and bottles of it at home. It sounded highly suspicious to me. This was not the first time she had made mention about having pills. She had mentioned it a few times to different people and I personally think she has an addiction to them. 
My mom was mostly unresponsive that day. This may sound strange but it was kind of relieving to see her sleeping. I felt as if anytime she was awake she was suffering, whether it was from physical pain, or mental and emotional pain, and it was hard to watch her going through any of that. She was comfortable and that was all that mattered. They had put her back on the pain pump and told us we could press it every hour for her. She held on tightly to that thing. There were a few times when she popped her head up and said hello to people but it was almost as if she were in a dream like state because she was so heavily medicated.  I was told that every time she woke up and I wasn’t in the room the first thing she’d do is look for me and ask where I was. She also woke up for my husband and my son which made me so happy yet unbelievably sad knowing that it was the last time she’d probably say his name or be able to acknowledge his presence. She was able to recognize faces and that gave me a weird peace too. I was glad she knew her family was by her side, like she wanted. 
Later that night I was in the room sitting on her bed and she opened her eyes and looked around the room. Someone asked her how she felt and she said “good but it’s scaring me that everyone is here.”. I said to her, “Everyone is here because they love you.”. I stated to cry and then She looked over at me and said, “[my nickname] you’re scaring me.”. I was trying to choke back my tears. I didn’t want to scare her but I knew she wanted her family around. I still to this day don’t know if it was right that I didn’t tell her she was dying. I was always honest with my mom. We had a very honest relationship. I just didn’t see what good it was going to do her at that point. I think she knew. I think she knew all along and didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to scare me either. That’s something I am always going to wonder about. 

The doctor came back to me and my brother to check up and see how we were all doing. He told me that he was reserving the private room for us. The patient that was in there was supposed to be discharged at some point the next day. He asked how I was doing and I didn’t even know how to answer him. He then said to me, “you did an amazing job caring for your mom.” He leaned in and gave me A huge hug. It felt good to hear that from someone because there were many times that I questioned if I was doing the right thing or everything I could do. I knew I was never going to get that validation from my brother or my two aunts who were supposedly closest to my mom and so, to hear it from a professional and someone who deals with this stuff all of the time, it really helped.
When the doctor walked away my brother asked me if we could talk privately. I really didn’t have much to say to him but I agreed. We walked down the hall and he turns to me and says, “tell me what you think, me and [Satan] were thinking of calling someone from the funeral home to come down here tomorrow so we can start making arrangements.”. I just looked at him for a moment, in complete shock and then I asked, “Why?” and reminded him, “She’s still here.”. He tried to sell me the idea by telling me that he wanted her to get into this specific funeral home because my dad’s wake was there and the holidays were coming up. I hated having to argue but I thought it was a TERRIBLE idea and completely unnecessary. Why waste an hour talking to some funeral director when we can spend that hour with her? Besides, there was absolutely no need to pre-plan her funeral. Had she died in a car accident or something we would’ve had to go after the accident and plan it. If we couldn’t get her in the same funeral home, oh well. There’s 100 others around. I didn’t want to get into it but I told him I didn’t think it was necessary and he seemed rather annoyed that I didn’t agree with him. I explained that I didn’t believe it was going to save us any time afterwards. We would still have to go there and pick out Mass cards and a casket, etc. They couldn’t bring their showroom to the hospital. I told him I didn’t want to argue and I didn’t think it was a good idea and and I just walked away. 
I really don’t know what all of this stupid bullshit was about. It was all a show, for him and his wife, to make it seem like they were being helpful and actually gave a shit about my mom. To me however, it was insulting. Where was he when she had her surgery and went home barely able to walk? Where was he when she fell at 11:30 at night and needed an ambulance? Where was he when she was up for three days straight because she was in so much pain? Where was she when she was at the emergency room in horrible pain? Where was he for any of it? He showed up when it was convenient for him and did the bare minimum just to keep himself from looking like a complete heartless asshole. Now all of the sudden he wants to come in, in the 11th inning and be the here by doing completely uncecessary bullshit? If I were him I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything but sit there and soak up every last minute that I had with her. 

It was getting late, almost midnight. I decided to “sleep” at the hospital. My aunt Debbie said she was going to stay too. I was kind of happy in a way. I thought it would give us some time to talk and hopefully fix things between us. Since I hadn’t spoken to her in months I didn’t tell her all of the crazy shit that was going on. Plus, it would be nice to have somewhere to talk. I’m not going to lie either, I was scared being alone and  knowing my mom could’ve died at any moment.

I went into my moms room and some family members were starting to leave. I had to run back to my house which was only a short four miles away and get some comfortable clothes to wear and my contact lens case. I sat down on the foot of my mom’s bed. My Aunt Bea was seated on the other side. People were walking in and out of the room for the entire day and I felt bad for the elderly woman who shared a room with my mom. It’s hard enough to sleep in the hospital as it is. I mean you really don’t sleep. There’s always nurses coming in to take your vitals or people screaming, announcements over the loudspeaker, carts rolling down the hallway, nurses talking really loud, janitorial staff cleaning, other patients yelling, etc. I expressed my concern for the old woman. I said I felt bad that there was so much activity going in and out and that she was probably tired and wanted to get some rest. Aunt Bea heard me and I thought she’d also try to empathize and say “what if that was my mother?”. No, instead she waves her hand and says, “Oh fuck her!!” and then proceeds to stick her middle finger up towards the curtain that divided the room in half. I know this sounds silly and isn’t really a big deal, but when she did that, it really bothered me and really made me think. Small moments like that could really show you a person’s true character. Over the last few months of my mom’s life I really started to see everyone’s character much more clearly than I ever did before, my Aunt Bea especially. If you didn’t know her the way I do, you’d be shocked by her doing that. Aunt Bea is always the first one to send you a birthday card or call you to wish you a happy birthday. She will compliment you and praise you and make you feel special but behind your back she will mother fuck you, to no end. I started to see who she really was long before this day and believe it or not, Facebook is what exposed her. I just started to notice how incredibly fake she was. She’s an ass kisser. She’s a phony and she’s a manipulator. Her whole life is based on worrying about how she’s perceived by others and looking perfect,  and so she goes above and beyond to manufacture this imagine of a loving, caring, honest, thoughtful, god fearing, empathic Saint; but in actuality, that’s not who she is at all. She’s quite the opposite of everything she portrays herself to be. She’s a very ugly person.

Aunt Bea made my mom feel like shit. She gave my mom her kidney, and then I guess to her, that meant that she had the right to treat my mom less than human. I believe a lot of it was out of jealousy. My mom had a lot of traits and ways about her that I believe my Aunt wanted. My mom was smart, intelligent, and well read. She was independent and did everything for herself. She didn’t depend on my dad to do it for her.  She was a dedicated worker and was recognized for it. She was an amazing mother, who until three years ago, had really good relationships with both my brother and myself. Aunt Bea possessed none of those skills. She would always say things to me like “oh, well your mother is so smart, she reads all those books and she can figure anything out…she’s good like that. I have hardly read any books.“. It goes to show how stupid she really is because reading books didn’t make my mom smarter than her. My mom was smarter because she took interest in things other than herself. If she didn’t know how to do something, she’d try to figure out another way. She listened to other people speak and absorbed information, and yes, she read books too. That’s what made her smarter. Reading a book didn’t make her any smarter. 

I am an empath by nature. A lot of my crying that day was because I was feeling the pain of everyone around me. I would look at my grandmother and think, “Wow. She is 90 years old. She lived through so much.”.  Born in the mid 1920’s, she has seen everything from the Great Depression to the Vietnam war, to the gulf war, to Iraq and 9/11. She watched people much younger than her by many years, die off one by one. My grandfather and all four of his siblings have passed on and she outlived all of them and now here she is, at 90 years old and she is losing her baby. Her and my mom had a very special bond and I think it’s because of all of the siblings, my mom took on the most of her traits. It hurt me to know that. It doesn’t matter how old you are or your child is, you should not die before your child. I’d look at her and just think about how hard this must be for her and I’d cry. 

As for my aunt Debbie, her and my mom were the closest of the two sisters. They were the only ones who were single and lived independently. When my dad died, my aunt Debbie would call my mom up in the morning before work and they’d stay on the phone until it was time to leave. They’d then get in their cars and talk to one another while they were driving in. They did this every morning for the last ten years. If my aunt Debbie bought something, she’d call my mom up and tell her about it and a few days later, she’d have the same thing. They drove the same truck and all, just different colors. At the hospital that day, I could physically feel her pain. 
I left the hospital and a few more people hung out until I got back. I knew it was going to be a long night….

 

Big brother is watching (part b) 

It was around 10:30pm the night of cameragate 2016 and I was home trying to forget the fucked up day I had. I felt terribly defeated at that point and I really just didn’t know what the fuck was going on or why. I tried to unwind and get my mind off all the stupid camera bullshit when suddenly I get a text from my brother that read, “why did you take the camera that I GAVE to mom?”. Noticed the emphasis on the word, “GAVE” and make note of it because it’s going to become important later in this story. I was so angry and so over it that I didn’t even answer him. I was done talking about cameras for the day. If he gave my mom the camera then it shouldn’t even be a concern of his. It’s no longer his possession. Who tracks gifts after they give them to someone? I didn’t feel I owed him any type of explanation. It was in my mom’s house and therefore it was her property. On top of that I know myself all too well and I was working on self control and I knew the conversation wasn’t going to go anywhere good, had I answered him. #adulting 
That night once again I went to bed thinking, “well today was by far the most fucked up day, it can’t get any worse than this.”. I was seriously afraid to wake up. I went to the hospital on Sunday to find out that my brother and Satan were off at her daughter’s Regatta race that was out of state. My mom told me she had to talk to me about something and so I sat down and listened. I don’t remember if this conversation took place the day of the camera incident, or that Sunday morning but my mom told me that she had conversation with my brother and she had asked Satan to take a step back. She explained to my brother that she was sort of over stepping her boundaries and she reminded him that she was a virtual stranger to me and also to my mom and it was very uncomfortable that she was so heavily involved in this personal shit. She explained that I am her daughter and I have been caring for her and surprisingly Satan agreed to take a step back, and it was a peaceful conversation. Of course they were going to play like they were the peaceful ones to her because they had something to lose in all of this. My brother on the other hand had to be his usual manipulative self and he took her house key off his key chain and gave it back to my mom, and told her that he won’t be going to her house to help out anymore.  
I heard from the neighbor too the next day and sure enough she told me my brother was at the house around 10:30 that night. He probably realized he couldn’t see his camera feed and so he went there to see what happened to it. Of course that’s not what he told my mom. He told her he went there to get this hoop that holds firewood. Yeah at 10:30 at night it was an emergency to have somewhere to store his firewood. I’m sure! 
I decided that day that I was no longer going to let what they do, come into my mom’s hospital room and effect my attitude or relationship with her. They were trying to take my focus off of her and put it on to them and I was not going to let that happen. From there on out I would no longer discuss them in her hospital room. I saw what they were trying to do and I wasn’t going to let them win. 
No one came to see my mom that whole weekend and I was pretty surprised. My mom seemed to be doing slightly better mentally but physically it seemed like she was getting worse and more and more discouraged because she still couldn’t sit up unsupported in her bed, or stand up and walk. I guess her slight improvement was enough to make everyone forget that she was still in very bad shape and I could tell once again that it hurt my mom that none of her family cared enough to come see her on their weekend. I think her youngest sister and her husband came one night but only stayed for a short time. 
It was Monday, November 10th and it had been another quiet day. My mom and I are sitting there talking when suddenly I hear talking in the hallway. I look up and in walks Aunt Debbie, Aunt Bea, Uncle Bob, my grandmother and my brother, all at the same time. What was the chances that they all arrived at the hospital at the very same time? I felt bad leaving the room when my grandmother was there but I just couldn’t sit there, feeling like I was completely outnumbered and I especially didn’t want to be in the same room as my brother. I walked out and told my mom I’d be back in a little while. 
I walked down into the parking garage and called my husband and told them how my brother came walking in the room with all of them as if they all came together. I looked around the parking garage and his car was not there, so either he came with them because he is a little bitch or he was dropped off by Satan? My husband was heading out to get dinner and so he told me to come meet him and my son. It was the first time I had eaten dinner with them in weeks. As I finished up eating I got a nasty text from my mom. I could tell she was angry that I had left. At this point in time I couldn’t explain why and so I just told her I wanted to eat dinner with my family. She told me not to bother coming back up but I did anyway. I wasn’t going to leave her uncomfortable for the night. 
By time I got there my mom was over it. 

As I’m up there I get a text from my husband. Apparently my brother had text him, “I texted [my name] but she never answered. I want the camera back that she took from my mom’s house. When can I come pick it up?”. I had just seen him at the hospital. He could’ve asked me then but like the coward he is, he waited until he went home and texted my husband. Why was he bothering my husband with this stupid bullshit? My husband answered him back, “I don’t know where it is. Didn’t you just see her at the hospital? Should of asked her.”. My brother responded, “She left the room when I got there and I am not fighting with her in front of my mother. I asked her for it the other day. She shouldn’t have stolen MY PROPERTY! Just find out from her where it is and let me know when I could get it. I don’t want to talk to her about it.” 
To reiterate, that night he sent me a text asking my why I took the camera that he GAVE to my mom. Here it is days later and now it’s HIS and not only is it HIS but it’s now HIS STOLEN PROPERTY. Now it made sense why he came up to the hospital with protection. He didn’t want to talk to me about it because he didn’t want to be confronted with the truth. He didn’t want me asking questions or telling him how absolutely fucked up it was that be planted a camera in my mom’s house. 
My husband called me and he was flipping out. He told me to go get the camera and just leave it in my moms hospital room because he didn’t want any trouble. There was no hiding it from my mom. I went down to my car and got the camera out of my trunk. Before I gave it back, I took a photo of it front and back because I could imagine Satan destroying the camera and saying I smashed it into a million pieces. I brought it up to the room and left it in the closet and told my mom to let him know it was in there. I helped her clean up for bed and I left for the night. 

I text my brother that night, “Do me a favor, don’t get my husband involved in this ridiculous bullshit. Don’t contact us anymore. We have enough stress worrying about mommy, as we have been for the past few years. I have seriously had it with the lies and the sneaky bullshit. Whatever you’re trying to do, you aren’t hurting me. You are hurting mommy. Who are you? You are not the same person you used to be. If you wanted the camera that you gave to mommy as a “gift”, then you should’ve asked me like a MAN when you just saw me in the hospital. Really, get your priorities in order. Is this shit really that important right now?” He responded to me, “don’t worry, I won’t be contacting you anymore.” I could wish that was the truth.

(To be continued in my next post)

Big Brother is watching.. (part A) 

It was the first Saturday in the month of Novemeber. Time was flying by and the holidays were right around the corner. I was really hoping my mom could come home for Christmas but I knew she had a very long road until she’d be out of any type of hospital environment. Mentally she seemed a lot better without all of the pain meds and I was actually able to have more normal conversations with her. My mom was very much into the presidential elections. The whole time she was in the hospital Fox News was playing in the background. She was really rooting for Donald Trump and getting her vote in was extremely important to her but it didn’t look like she was going to be home in time to cast her ballot. I knew how much it meant to my mom to participate in the vote and so I started looking into how you would go about casting an absentee ballot. I realized by the time I started looking into it, it was past the deadline for the mail-in ballots. In the previous two weeks when she was in really bad pain and had the pain pump, I didn’t think I would have time to go down to our county’s election board, in person and get an absentee ballot for her. I knew she was really going to be crushed if she was unable to vote and so I came up with a better plan. I have always voted in every presidential election since I was 18 but this year since I wasn’t really following and didn’t care too much for either candidate, I wasn’t planning on voting. While I’m registered as independent, I mostly vote democrat but I wasn’t too thrilled with Hilary Clinton as the democratic candidate. With that said, I decided to sacrifice my vote for hers. I promised her that I would vote Donald Trump , even though personally, from what I did heard and saw, I really didn’t think he was fit for the job, for her and it would be like she was voting. She was cool with that. The next day after I told her that I came up to the hospital and saw some paperwork on her table about absentee ballots. I asked her where they came from and she told me that she told my brother that I was going to forfeit my vote for her and he then said he was going to go down to the election board and get her ballot. I was kind of upset and disappointed. That was something special I wanted to do for her to make her feel better and once again, my brother was trying to run me off the tracks. I told my mom no way and so I went the very next morning and got her a ballot. God knew if my brother would actually pull through anyway. Sometimes he would say he could or would do things and then at the last minute Satan would come up with some errand to run or project to do and he’d change plans. I wasn’t about to let that happen this time. 
On Saturday’s my husband would let me sleep in a little bit and it was really needed this time around. I woke up around 10:30 and hung around being lazy with my son and my husband, on the couch. I called my on and told her I’d be up a little later that afternoon and she told me not to rush and that my brother and Satan were suppose to be there sometime soon. Im scrolling down my Facebook feed and see a text from my Mom’s neighbor pop up on the screen. Attached to the text is a photo of my mom’s house. My brothers Mercedes is parked in the driveway and Satan’s car is on the street blocking his car in. Her text read they are back AGAIN and this time they brought friends with them! 
I jumped up out of my seat and ran to show my husband. My heart was racing. I knew that my mom was already uncomfortable about them being there but more specifically Satan being in her house while she wasn’t there and now they are bringing her friends along with them? At this point I don’t know what the fuck they are up to. How many times can they go through her safe? How many bills could my mom possibly have to pay? She did all her bills paperlessly, online. What the fuck was their sudden interest and obsession with her house for? Bear in mind that these are two people who had probably been to her house less than five times in the past three years and NEVER went to her house when she wasn’t there, prior to the one time during her last hospital stay, and now they are there multiple times a week? I started to wonder what else they were doing. When you are constantly kept in the dark about things all you can do is speculate and so my husband and I started to think, Satan works in the insurance industry, and knew a lot of real estate people; attorneys, etc. Maybe the “friend” that was with her was a real estate appraiser. They had already gathered up all the other financial information they needed, so why not find out exactly how much the house cost? While that seems a little far fetched (my husband has a good imagination) at this point I wouldn’t put anything past them. It ended up not being a friend with them, anyway. It was Satan’s older daughter.  I was thinking more along the lines of maybe they were starting to remove valuables from the house like my mom’s jewelry and stuff. Either way I didn’t want to waste any time. I wanted to catch them there and see what they were doing, with my own eyes. 
I had caught them at my moms house and in her safe at least three times already, prior to this day. The last time I caught my brother, he lied when he was confronted by my mom. I know my brother has just as much of a right as I do to be at her house but when he was being sneaky and lying about it, I had to question his motives. He was well aware of how my mom felt about his wife and so to bring her into my mom’s home and allow her to see my mom’s most private stuff, showed his lack of consideration and respect for my mom. I have heard horror story’s from friends of mine how siblings started doing shady shit like stealing things, or manipulating people into signing over power of attorney so they can take all their money, from a sick or elderly parent. At this point I wouldn’t put anything past them.   Money makes people do crazy things. I didn’t know much about Satan but what I knew without any doubt was that money was one of her main interests in life, if not the sole focus of her entire being. My brother, I hate to say it but he took has also been a money hungry, greedy bastard. He’s the type of person who will buy you a really cheap Christmas gift and say he was broke but then he’ll be showing you the newest expensive gadget that he bought for himself. 
Whatever it was they were doing, I wanted to put a stop to it! This sneaky bullshit was going to stop. I wanted to get a handle on this situation before it got out of control and we really went to war. I had caught them all those times but never confronted them about it because I didn’t want to upset my mom anymore. I wanted them to know that they were not going to pull the wool over my eyes anymore. 
My mom’s house was a good 10 to 15 minute ride from me and I wanted to get there ASAP. Still in my sweats that I slept in, I was flying down the main road that leads to the highway. I look over to the other side of traffic and see a truck that is identical to Satan’s coming towards me. I turn my head as it passes and saw the truck had a butterfly decal on the back window and knew for sure it was her. I kept my eyes opened for my brother’s car but didn’t see it. I was a bit disappointed that she wasn’t going to be there, but I figured it was probably better and safer that she wasn’t there. Maybe my brother and I could actually have a civilized conversation. 
I rounded the corner of my moms block and saw that only my moms car was in the driveway, my brother had also left. I walked into my moms house and briefly scanned around her living room and then I made my way to the kitchen. I called my husband as I was looking around for any sign of something missing or moved out of place. I know my mom’s house just as good as I know my own house. I lived there all my life, and while my mom made a lot of renovations since I moved out, almost a decade ago, I came to visit often enough that her house still felt like “home” to me. Hell, it should! My husband and I were the ones helping her maintain her home, for the past three years, as my brother callously hung my mom and I both out to dry. 
I made way to my old bedroom which was straight across, at the end of the hallway. If you stood at looking my hall there were three doors on one side, 2 doors on the other side and my old room was straight ahead. If the door was open you can see a tall bureau that my mom had and the safe was sitting right beside it. The safe appeared to be undisturbed this time, unless they got wise to the fact that I left the dial on a certain number each time. I poked my head into her room and nothing looked out of place. I grazed the rest of the house until I was satisfied that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, all the while narrating my movements to my husband. I went down the hallway one last time to turn off all the lights. My brother has a tendency to be careless especially when it’s not his own shit, and so I just wanted to double check that the back door was locked before I headed out. 
As I turned out of the hallway to go into the kitchen, out of the corner of my eye I caught an odd reflection near my piano  which was up against the wall. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to see what it was. Right away something didn’t look right. The items on the piano were slightly rearranged and I could tell something was different. As I scanned across it,  I notice this round, black shiny, object with a small green light on it that I have never seen before. It was sitting between a picture frame and a fake planted pot. I have a very good photographic memory and I knew whatever it was, it didn’t belong there. Finally as I got close, I thought it looked like a baby monitor of some sort and that’s when I saw that bubbled, round lens in the center.  It was the fucking Nest Camera that Satan said she was giving to my mom. 
On the phone with my husband I started screaming, “it’s the fucking camera!!!! Their mother fucking camera!!!”. In that moment the past few months all started replaying in my head, which lead to the past three years and all the bullshit I’ve had to deal with. Everything came rushing back. The dress I got for their wedding, them fighting and screaming at mom, all the arguments, the disrespect, my mom’s tears, the heart ache, my ruined relationship with my brother, my son not knowing his uncle, the begging, the pleading, the lack of help; the lack of care, the lack of empathy, the twisting of words, the lies, the sneaky bullshit, my mom’s cancer, healthcare proxies, wills, secret conversations, EVERYTHING, and then I lost my fucking shit. I grabbed the camera and yanked the cord towards me as hard as I could. I ran right to the front door, screaming and cursing, using every profanity I could conger up. I walked out and as hard as I could I threw the camera down on my mother’s brick walkway. It bounced so hard it ricochet’d off the walkway and  landed in the middle of her lawn, and then almost rolled off her property, into the street. 
My mom’s neighbor’s husband was standing outside and must’ve thought I was losing my mind. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I walked across the lawn and retrieved the camera and I have to say, I almost started to laugh because I was pretty impressed with the quality of the camera. I threw it pretty god damn hard, into solid pavers and it was still completely in tact except for a few scratches on the back. The front part where the camera lens was, was virtually unscathed except some dirt and finger prints which I wiped away. Out of breath and angry, I laid the camera and its stand which came detached (but was easily fixed) out on the walkway and snapped a picture of it. I impulsively sent it to my mom with a caption that said, here’s what your son was doing at your house today. 
I walked back in the house to retrieve the plug that was still in the outlet. The power cord was set up similar to how the iPhones is where the plug wall adapter and wire were separate entities. Upon further inspection I looked at the plug and it was obvious that it had been used. It was all dirty and had scuff marks. I guess she won a thrift store contest.  I walked down the hallway to see if the accompanied thermostat was there but it wasn’t. Satan didn’t just “win” this camera. It was their personal camera. Their old, dirty and scuffed up, used camera. It was a total bullshit story. 
I also have to laugh at the camera’s placement. It was sitting on the edge of my piano, pointed directly down the dark hallway, right at my old bedroom door, where the safe was kept. Why on gods green earth would my mom want to look at a bunch of closed fucking doors? That camera wasn’t put there for any other means than to control and intimidate me, my husband and now the innocent neighbor who was there to help care for my mom’s dogs. They wanted to let me know I was being watched. Meanwhile, they were the ones who should’ve had a camera pointed on them. 
For three years while they treated my mother complete shit, I was there for her. Not trying to toot my own horn but or be a martyr but if it weren’t for me, my mom probably wouldn’t even have made it to this point.  My husband has done way more for her than her own son. He treated her as if she was his own mother. When she got her surgery, I was in that house everyday helping her out for three months straight. My husband and I  cleaned her pool all summer, we went out an got  her a new A/C andfixed her air conditioner, and we installed it. I helped her clean, do her laundry, go grocery shopping, helped her in and out of the shower, helped her wash her body, picked up dead mice, try to scare raccoons out from under her deck, etc, etc. My husband and I sacrificed and put our own home and even our child at times, to the wayside, to help her out, not because we HAD to or were obligated to, but because we WANTED to, because that’s what you do for the people you love. I would be damned before I walked into MY MOTHER’S house with those two, selfish, uncaring, unhelpful, unempathetic, fake, phony, conniving, calculating, greedy, rotten, evil, sons of bitches, watching me and listening to my private conversations! Over my dead fucking body. What gave them the right to Police my actions? 

My brother and her had finally sunken to an all-time new low. I just didn’t understand, why didn’t they take all this time and effort that they put into worrying about cameras, healthcare proxies, snooping around, plotting and scheming and put it into my mom. My brother kept repeating at the palliative care meeting that he was “looking out for her best interest” and trying to “protect her” but all he was doing was worrying about himself. Also, for fucks sakes did he ever take it into account the neighbor who was taking care of my mom’s dogs? This woman had been trusted with a key to my mother’s house to go in and out, unsupervised, multiple times, for that last year and now all of the sudden she walks into the house one day and there’s a camera pointed on her? Now she has to feel uncomfortable and like she was doing something wrong? ?
I took the camera out of the house, threw it in a plastic bag and put it in my trunk with full intentions of giving it back to them. At this point in time now I was really starting to feel like I was to losing my mind and my imagination once again started to get the best of me. I started to wonder if perhaps they were fabricating stories about me and telling my mom that I was doing all the shit they were doing? I even started to question if my mom had turned on me and was drinking Satan’s kool-aid too. What was the reason they gave her for putting the camera in the house that day or did she even know? I just couldn’t understand what the fuck was going on and why it was happening.  What were they trying to do to me? Was it just there to control and intimidate me ? They really didn’t hide the camera, I felt like they almost wanted me to know it was there, like they were using it to make a statement.
Regardless of why it was there my stress had hit an all time high. I felt like I was being tortured and my patience was being put to the ultimate test. Was this all a huge misunderstanding? Were they actually innocently just trying to help and coincidentally it seemed like they were up to no good? Were they purposely they trying to get me and my mom into a fight and trying to drive a wedge between us? Was this camera out there to triangulate? I just couldn’t understand and I was experiencing so many emotions. I was also feeling deeply conflicted. I felt my mom had a right to know and I had already impulsively sent my mom a text but I had tried so hard to keep the bullshit out of her room and I didn’t want this ridiculous, petty bullshit to add to her stress. She wa very fragile and something like this could send her soaring over the edge. How long could I keep giving them the  benefit of the doubt? 
I went to the hospital that night and I know my mom could tell something was wrong. I do not hide my emotions very well. I wear my heart on my sleeve and if and when I’m feeling something as intense as this, it’s hard for me to keep it in. She finally asked me what was wrong and I calmly just told her that I was so upset and I just didn’t understand what this was all about and what they were trying to do to me. My mom didn’t know all the details of what happened that week and again, I didn’t want to burden her with this nonsense  but it was hard because at the same time, she is normally the main person I would go to with this kind of stuff. 
My mom swore that they didn’t tell her they were going to her house that day to put the camera in and that she was upset with my brother that he didn’t discuss it with her first. His bullshit reason he gave to her for going there was to put covers on her air conditioners. My brother doesn’t do volunteer work. Never has never will. He has  been like that his whole life. He doesn’t go out of his way for anyone unless he is somehow benefitting from it. 
This whole thing was so disturbing to me. Not only didn’t they lie to my mom about winning this new camera but I really don’t think they had any intentions on letting her keep it. In their eyes I believe they thought that they were lending it to her for a short period of time and once it served it’s purpose and she was gone, they would get it back. It also bothered me that here again, my brother was caught doing some shady shit and lying to her again and once again, she just gives him a pass. I knew she was sick and had bigger things to worry about but i am still human and it was hurtful to me that she constantly downplayed his bad behavior and enabled it. She had been enabling her whole life, its all she knew. She could never give me a good reason as to why the camera was there and when I’d asked her, she’d evade the question everytime . 

I didn’t want this to cause tension between my mom and I. I let her know how I felt and how much it hurt and how I believed like my brother and his wife were trying to destroy me and every relationship I had in my life. They were now encroaching on the most important one. I told her I wasn’t mad at her and that like everything else I will eventually just force myself to get over it. I helped her clean herself up and get her teeth ready for the next day and I left the hospital kind of earlier than normal that night. I just needed a break. I needed to process not just this but EVERYTHING I was going through……
(To be continued in my next post)

“My family sucks!”

Every night when I’d try to go to bed, usually between 2:00-4:00am, I would think to myself, “well today was fucking horrible, I highly doubt tomorrow could get any worse…..” then I would wake up the next day and shit would get much worse. There was a few days there though that were relatively quiet during that very first week of November. Part of it had to do with the fact that Satan was supposedly sick and she wasn’t up at the hospital. 
Two days went by and there was absolutely no bullshit from them. I hadn’t seen them in a few days and it was nice. Then came this one night when I was up there and a new nurse came in to take my mom’s blood pressure. Like all of the other nurses in her unit she was friendly and started talking to us. We got into a conversation about family and she asked my mom how many kids she had. My mom explained that she had me and my brother and we were both married, with one kid. My mom mentioned that she wasn’t crazy about my brother’s wife and I said the same. Then suddenly my mom turns to me and says, “[my name] we need to stop doing that. Confused, I asked her, “doing what?”. She said, “telling people that we don’t like her.”. She then when on to explain that years ago around the time everything was going on with my brother and Satan and their wedding, my mom was getting her taxes done and she told her accountant that she hate her son’s wife and felt my brother was making a huge mistake marrying her. She went on to tell me that the day prior Satan and my brother were at the hospital and Satan was talking about some tax advice she got from someone that she needed to tell her accountant, Janice When my mom heard the name Janice she asked Satan what her last name was and that’s when she realized that they used the same accountant. 
We live in one of the most densely populated, suburban areas of the United States. What are the chances that my mom and her used the same accountant? 

Knowing how Satan and my brother had been snooping around my mom’s house several times in the past few weeks, I found it highly suspicious that Satan happened to A) be speaking about financial advice she got, with my mom while she was in the hospital, B) used the same exact accountant as her. I mentioned this much earlier on in this blog but this was something that was common practice for Satan. She always knew someone that knew you, no matter where you went. She always had a “friend”. Back when my mom was hospitalized in August, and had to get a procedure done Satan had sent my mom a screenshot of this anesthesiologist that she supposedly knew. She told my mom that he would come down and see her before her procedure and take care of her. No one ever showed up. She was full of shit. She had friends that were nurses too but again, we never met any of them. I felt like this was just another bullshit story that Satan was telling. She always knew someone. 
 I think it her doing that is her way of controlling what is said about her. It keeps you on your toes. You don’t want to bad mouth her because you never know when one of her “friends” may be lurking in the shadows, listening to your conversations. It was working on my mom, but to be quite honest, I could give a flying shit less. It was abundantly clear at that point in time that I wasn’t about to be the president of the Satan fan club. She didn’t scare me. 
I was trying my hardest not to talk about my brother and Satan unless my mom brought them up and even then I would keep it to a minimum. I didn’t want to stress her out with their nonsense by at the same time I wanted her to be aware that people were invading her privacy and going through her personal space. Even when I did talk about what was going on I always took the blame off of my brother and put it on to Satan. I didn’t want my mom thinking her son was a piece of shit and so I always stressed the fact that he was being controlled by her, even though at that point in time, I stared to realize that my brother was just as guilty because he was allowing her to control him and overstep boundaries with his family. As I mentioned in my last post it bothered me at times though, that my mom was so completely blind to my brother’s role in everything. She always gave him a pass. I think having to admit your son is a greedy, self absorbed, piece of shit, is a hard thing for a mother to do. I had told my mom each time I caught him in her safe but I think there was a part of her that didn’t want to believe me until finally one day, she got the proof she needed. 
It was a few days after Halloween and my mom told me, “your brother really was in my safe. He gave himself up by accident.”. I have to mention here that my mom would give me little drips and drabs of things they would say to her but she never told me the full details because I think she was really trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire. At the same time I think she was trying to piece this all together in her own mind and so when something didn’t seem right, she would question it to see my reaction. Her worst nightmare was to die knowing that my brother and I weren’t ever going to speak again. Him and I being estranged made her miserable. Anyhow, She would make mentions of these small, weird things and when I’d press for details she’s suddenly forget them because she didn’t want me to get angry. In this case there had to be some discussion going on about my mom changing her will and my brother asked her if she was going to use the same lawyer who drew up her original will. My mom said to me that, that right there was proof that my brother was indeed in the safe. There’s no other way he could’ve known who drafted her original will without actually going in there and seeing it with his own eyes. My mom never showed either of us her will. She told me that she told him that day that she had another lawyer she was going to use and she left it at that. It hurt that my mom had doubts but at the same time I understood. No mother wants to think their child is doing something shady to hurt her or any other one of his immediate family. I can only imagine the discussions that went on between them when I wasn’t around. I feel like they were telling my Mom things way worse than I ever could imagine while I wasn’t around. Satan was a compulsive liar and her lies were about to take a far more sinister turn. 
The same night my mom told me about the coincidental fact that Satan and her used the very same accountant, she made another strange mention to me about something else Satan said to her. The nurse walked out of the room and my mom said to me, “there’s something else I have to tell you about Satan…..”. I looked at her with worry in my eyes. She told me it was really weird. Satan told my mom she had one this thing called “the Nest” in some contest. I had heard of The Nest before. To my knowledge it was digital, hi-tech thermostat that could be controlled via your iPhone. She told my mom that not only did she win The Nest but she didn’t need it and she was such a generous person, she wanted my mom to have it. I was puzzled as to why Satan wouldn’t want to use it herself and why she’d want to give her expensive prize away to my mom for no apparent reason and that’s when my mom added, “well that’s not all….”apparently this prize was not just the thermostat, it came with a free security camera and she wanted to also gift that to my mom! 
Something definitely did not sound right about this to me. First off what kind of contest did Satan enter that a thermostat and Security camera were the prize? I asked my mom if that sounded a little suspicious to her and my mom admitted that it did, but again wanted to give my brother the benefit of the doubt. Also, why wouldn’t Satan want to keep this wonderful prize? Why was she so compelled to give it to my mom? My mom tried to play it off that it wasn’t a big deal but this wreaked of evil to me. No one just gives away a prize they “won” that’s worth over $200, for no reason. It just didn’t make sense to me. My mom told me she would like the thermostat but she wasn’t really into having a security camera in her house. 
When I left the hospital that night I told my husband who also thought the story sounded suspicious but in all honesty, I wrote it off as one of Satan’s bullshit stories that would never actually come to fruition. I looked at it as one of those things she said, just like her friend the anesthesiologist who was going to come see my mom before she got her procedure done and for the next few days I didn’t even give it a second thought. 
In the meanwhile I spoke to my mom and her doctors about getting her off the pain pump and my mom agreed to give it a shot. It seemed the radiation had helped and they got her pain under control. She was also seeing the physical therapist who showed her how to do these exercises in her bed to help build up muscle strength. It was nice to have conversations with my mom during that week without her nodding off or looking all doped up. I told her about the weeks before and she had virtually no memory of some of the events that took place. She didn’t even know that some people came and visited her and she had absolutely no memory of the night I brought to the emergency room…which was probably a good thing. I know that night be permanently burned into my mind. 
I hadn’t seen either of my aunts, at the hospital since I had that blowout with my Aunt Debbie about my brother and quite frankly, I was shocked. Knowing how close she was with my mom I would’ve thought she’d be multiple times a week, for hours on end. With the way I’ve seen them do things, I knew they were going to blame me for the reason they weren’t coming up that often. I was used to being their scapegoat, whipping girl at that point. My husband stayed out of all the drama but after My fight with Aunt Debbie, he tried to call her and explain the story and what was going on and in that convo, my aunt Debbie told him that she would come more often but she had to go home and feed her dogs after work. While i admit the hospital was a good 25 miles away from her, she could’ve made a little more of an effort to get there. Also, she has a grown ass, adult daughter who literally lives next door to her in an apartment she had built, on to her house, for her ex-inlaws. She could’ve helped out with feeding her dogs. It was just an excuse and a lame one at that. Instead she wound wait until aunt Bea and Uncle Bob were coming and she’d come with them. Not once did she drive out there by herself. I asked my mom almost everyday if anyone was coming and she said “no”, but that she “didn’t even care.”. While she said that she didn’t care, the way she said it told me that she really did care and was disappointed. 
That Thursday that proceeded Halloween I was sitting up in my mom’s room reading a magazine as she dozed off and all of the sudden I hear the shuffling of feet and jackets. I look up and my Aunt Bea, my aunt Debbie and my cousin Tina came walking in the room. At this point I really didn’t want to see any of them and so I started to get that anxious feeling in my gut. I wanted to just leave the room and for so many reasons. One being that the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and I didn’t want my mom to be stuck in the middle of it. As I said before I also didn’t want them to ha e any excuses as to why they didn’t come up there often. I didn’t want them to say that I was breathing down their necks, making them feel uncomfortable or robbing them of precious time with my mom. They had just as much of a right to be there as I did and they deserved to spend some “alone” time with her too. Lastly, I welcomed the break. I would be at the hospital everyday from the early to mid afternoon up until anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00 pm. No one was forcing me to be there but I just didn’t feel right knowing she was so scared and nervous, leaving her to sit in this depressing hospital alone! I said hello and then a few minutes later I excused myself to go downstairs to get a drink and smoke a cigarette.
As I rode down the elevator I realized that my Uncle Bob wasn’t with them. My Aunt Bea is one of those kinds of women who rely way too much on their husbands to do things for them. Aunt Bea hardly went anywhere without my uncle bob. There were several times my Aunts wanted to do a girl’s night out/sisters night and aunt Bea declined the invitation because she wouldn’t go without Uncle Bob. Aunt Bea never drove her car on the main highway that runs through the island in which we live on. She never had to pump her gas or go pickup takeout food. My Uncle Bob does all of those things for her and so when I was her there alone it certainly was weird. 
The parking lot was empty for the most part by that time of night and by process of elimination I assumed my Aunt Debbie was the chauffeur that night but when I looked around, her car was no where to be found. I shrugged it off and continued to make my way to my car when all of the sudden out of the corner of my eye I noticed a car that looked exactly like Uncle Bob’s truck. I walked over to it and saw a sticker that helped confirm that it indeed was his car. I had my cigarette, called my husband, and hung around for a while knowing that their visits usually didn’t last longer than a half hour or hour, tops. 
On my way back in I decided to call my mom and ask her if she wanted anything from the cafeteria before it closed for the night. She told me she was ok and to just come back up to the room. As I stood there and waited for the elevator I heard the door to another elevator open up. I turned my head to look at it and out comes my Uncle Bob, all by himself. As he walked out I looked at him and our eyes got locked in direct contact with one another. I felt like we were two cowboy, gun slingers in the wild Wild West. My head followed him until he finally left my field of vision. He didn’t so much as grimace at me. It was as if we were two complete strangers with absolutely no connection to one another. At one point in my life I actually had a lot of respect for my uncle Bob but it was clear at that point that he didn’t have any for me. That day when I looked into his eyes, I saw him in a completely different way. He was a heartless, pussy ass, Bitch. 
I got back into the room and as I walked back in the rest of them shuffled out of the room. I could tell my mom was a little bit annoyed that I left because she made some comment that I was rude for leaving. As much as I didn’t like lying to her; I tried to play it off like I was just claustrophobic and anxious with so many people in the small space she was in (which was partially true). I felt it wouldn’t benefit either of us at that point by telling her my real reasons, but my mom was no idiot. You know that every single day when I went up to the hospital my mom would ask me, “did anyone from the family reach out to you?”, and everyday I’d reply, “no ma just [my oldest cohsin] and [my mom’s youngest sister], no one else.”. Just as I could read her, she could read me and she knew that there was more to the story and that’s why she would ask me, if they called. The last time she asked me that her reply to my answer was, “my family fucking sucks.”. I couldn’t even argue with that. 

That Friday I was at the hospital in the afternoon and came home to drop off my son. As I was getting ready to head back up to the hospital, I got a call from the palliative care director. Apparently the woman, who’s name was Linda, had a long talk with my mom that afternoon and afterwards she decided to call me. Our conversation was almost an hour long and I was really confused because it seemed like the main purpose of it was to light a fire under my ass to get a lawyer down to the hospital and have my mom sign power of attorney over to me. This woman knew the whole story about my brother and Satan and how my mom didn’t want Satan controlling any of her money. She said that she “strongly urged me to get it done ASAP. The funny part was; we were supposed to see the lawyer that day but we ended up having to cancel because my mom thought she was having some procedure done. After the palliative care meeting, my mom told me to call the lawyer who worked probono for cancer patients, that they had suggested and have him come into the hospital so she could have him re-write her will. She had a social worker call and follow up with me the next day and she too explained that there’s always one evil person in every family. Later on when I told my mom that I had spoken with the palliative care director, and what she said my mom tried to play it off like she didn’t tell the woman about my brother and Satan. I was really confused. The woman told me they had a conversation about it and my mom explained the whole story to her and how she was really worried for me. I don’t know why my mom would deny it. Maybe she was trying to just do damage control because she didn’t want them finding out about it. Regardless, I called him but he wasn’t available for another week and so I rescheduled with him for the following Thursday….
(To be continued in my next post) 

“He is planning my death” 

It was Halloween. My husband took off from work so I could attended the meeting at the hospital with the palliative care team. I felt really bad leaving my mom but I really wanted to be there for my son to go trick o treating. It was the first year he was actually aware and excited about Halloween. Normally I make his costumes but this year I had been too busy caring for my mom that it was the furthest thing from my mind. My husband brought him to the store and let him pick out his own costume and he picked out a scooby doo costume. 
My mom and I discussed the meeting and it felt real good when she told me, “you carried that entire meeting” and that she was proud of me. My mom was always supportive and would always tell us when we did a good job. She was totally ok with me leaving to bring my son trick o treating and so I did. Thankfully my son is only four and he wasn’t really in to walking for miles so I was only gone about an hour. Me and my husband drove back up to the hospital so my mom could see him dressed up. The hospital staff got a kick out of him. 
My son always lifted my mom’s spirits and so whenever I could, I wound bring him up to see her. I could tell there was some improvements. On Halloween she was actually able to use her phone again and she took pictures of my son in his costume from her hospital bed. A day or so prior to halloween while I was there her roommate was discharged. My mom had the worst part of the room. She was right next to the hallway and since most roomies prefer the room dividing curtain to be closed, my mom hadn’t seen the sun for over a week. I knew how much she loved to see the fall foliage and so I asked the nurses if we could switch her to the window side of the room. I thought that just seeing that the outside world still exists may actually help her and give her the drive and will to get better. I definitely noticed an improvement in her because of it. 
The window area was also more private, because you didn’t have people walking back and forth and I believe the privacy also played a big factor in making her less stressed out. As I said in an earlier post, my mom was very self conscious. People don’t realize that even though you’re sick, humility is still a factor to take into consideration. When you become so ill that you can no longer do simple things such as go to the bathroom, or walk, you are forced to sacrifice your humility. My mom wore false teeth. The year after my dad passed in 2006, she had to get all of her teeth pulled. From being on steroids and immunosuppressive drugs for about 15 years at that point in time, she had lost a lot of bone mass. Her jaw bone was starting to waste away and so all her teeth became loose. She had to get a full set of dentures. It was a very traumatic experience for her and I was there to hold her hand. It was hard to watch as she cried hysterically in the dentist chair. It took her a very long time to get adjusted to the teeth too. They were very awkward and uncomfortable at first and she couldn’t eat a lot of the foods she enjoyed because it was hard to chew. It was also hard to talk. I felt so bad for her but she always had to look at things like, have false teeth or be in dialysis or even worse, dead. Eventually she got used to them but when she had stayed in the hospital for the entire month of August, she refused to take them out. So for about 30 nights straight, she slept with them in her mouth. She had really bad sores and stuff and so it was during this stay that I finally got her to take them out. Every night I’d be the last one to leave the room no matter who came because I would help her get her teeth out, clean them up and set her up with some mouthwash and her glue for the next day. I’d like all the stuff up on the table that she’d need so she didn’t have to bother the nurses, and she could do everything herself. 
My husband stayed with us for about an hour and then brought my son to get dinner. At about 8:00pm my brother came strolling into the hospital room, surprisingly all by himself. Apparently Satan was sick. At this point in time I was so disgusted with him. I left the room to use the restroom and when I came back I saw him sitting in the chair looking at the forms we had been handed earlier that day. I came to find out later he asked my mom if she filled it out and she got annoyed and told him she just wanted to relax and not think about that kind of stuff. She told him she’d do it the next day. Personally I didn’t even want to look at the form because I didn’t want to imagine my mom in all of these horrible situations where I’d have to make a decision whether or not she lived. I hoped and prayed I’d never have to make such a choice and that was about it. 
Around 9:30pm he said he had to go. I stayed for about another hour to hour and a half. I helped my mom get cleaned up for bed and I went home. I had been home for about 10 minutes when I get a frantic text from my mom’s neighbor who was watching her dogs. She was completely freaked out. She told me someone was in my mom’s house and they moved stuff around. I couldn’t believe it. I ran right out my door and drove over there. When I got there I see her coming across the street with a flashlight in her hand. Apparently she had fed the dogs around 7:30. At around 11:00 or so she saw what she thought was a Dodge Charger, pulling out of my mom’s driveway, but just chalked it up to someone using her driveway to make a U-turn, which was a common thing seeing that she is the second house on the block. She went into the house and right way noticed stuff was out of place. There was stuff on her kitchen counter that was moved. Lights that she knew she had shut off, had been turned on and there was a black portfolio case sitting on the coffee table in my mom’s den, which wasn’t there earlier. As she’s telling me the story she starts crying and I could see she was visibly shaken. She knew it wasn’t me who was in the house because her and I communicated. Every time I went there I would let her know so I didn’t alarm her. I knew there was only one other person besides me and my husband who have keys to my moms house and that is my brother. 
Back in August when I figured out that my brother and Satan were in my mom’s safe, I set the dial to a specific number so that I knew if it was not on that number, clearly someone was in it. I caught them on the 19th of October and again on the 31st. Sure enough the number was moved both times which clearly means they were in the safe. I didn’t understand what it was that they were looking for. Everything else in the house seemed undisturbed except for the few things that she showed me. We talked for about an hour and a half that night. She explained how she was so scared thinking it was Halloween and someone was messing with my moms house. She was really shook up from it. 
When she left I felt too spooked to stay there and investigate and so the next morning I came back. I opened the safe and sure enough I could see someone had gone through it again. This time they left the copy of my mom’s will out of the packet that it was in. I opened up the packet and took out my mom’s will and sure enough, it looked all disheveled. It was all dirty on the back and I could tell someone had folded over the nice crisp pages and left a crease in it. I knew it wasn’t me. To me that indicated that someone had possibly taken it and had it photocopied. I wasn’t sure why the other stuff was moved around either, especially the portfolio case.
I couldn’t make sense of it all and then it hit me. My brother completely lied to us that night. He left the hospital at about 9:30 and said he was going home but apparently that wasn’t the case. Instead he went to my moms house. I didn’t want to cause trouble but because the girl was so shook up I wanted to let my mom know that my brother should just let one of us know that if he was going to her house for any reason, to let either me or her know. I went straight to the hospital and asked my mom if she knew that my brother went to the house that night and she told me no she didn’t. 
She called him up as I was standing there and asked him if he was at her house the night prior. She looks up at me and I hear her saying back to him, “oh you weren’t?”. She looked over to me and mouthed the word, “lying!”. A few seconds later, silly him, he remembered that he did in fact go to her house and the reason he gave was so that he could check to see if she had any bills that needed paying. When she hung up the phone she looked at me with this disappointed face and said, “he lied…” and then she asked, “did he go in the safe again?”. I didn’t want to upset her but I had to tell her the truth. I told her that was it. I was going to remove all of the paperwork that was in there and she told me, “good, do it.”. She then said something to me that I will never forget. She first asked me why I thought he kept going in there. I didn’t have the heart to say why, and so I replied, “I don’t know, ma.”. That was when she said to me, “I know why, he is planning my death.”. 
(To be continued in my next post)